Enterprise Information Systems Adoption in Iberian Large Companies: Motivations and Trends

Enterprise Information Systems Adoption in Iberian Large Companies: Motivations and Trends

António Trigo, João Varajão, João Barroso, Pedro Soto-Acosta, Francisco J. Molina-Castillo, Nicolas Gonzalvez-Gallego
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4153-2.ch060
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Information Systems (IS) and Technologies assume a wide variety of roles within companies, ranging from operational to strategic support of the company. This fact puts pressure on managers, who are required to manage these investments properly. This chapter presents a study conducted with several Chief Information Officers from large Iberian companies with the purpose of identifying and characterizing the roles played by IS and the motivations currently behind their adoption. The findings of this study reveal the reasons why IS and technologies are being adopted by Iberian companies are evolving and that, while the adoption of certain types of systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning systems is now consolidated, the adoption of other systems like Business Intelligence is expected to increase significantly in the near future.
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A common approach to examine the types of IT/IS solutions used within organizations is to categorize their roles at various management levels within the organizational structure (Belle, Eccles, & Nash, 2003; Laudon & Laudon, 2005), according to Robert Anthony’s (1965) pyramid of operational control, managerial control and strategic planning.

At the lowest level of the organizational hierarchy we find the transaction processing systems (TPS), which support the day-to-day activities of the business. These applications are normally the first to be computerized and are characterized by large numbers of transactions, updating the corporate database. These systems are usually used by clerical staff, who conduct routine daily business activities such as issuing of invoices, following well-defined business procedures. Low-level managers and supervisors, responsible for monitoring transactions and dealing with any problems that may arise, occupy the next level in the organizational hierarchy. Management Information Systems (MIS) use the data collected by the TPS to assist the operations and line managers with the control of business process activities, usually by means of standard, regular reports. Tactical management occupies the next level in the organizational hierarchy. These managers are responsible for ensuring that plans and targets set by senior management are achieved. They decide on budgets, set targets, identify trends and develop short-term business plans. To achieve this, tactical managers need to have more interactive applications that actually assist them with the decision making process of middle management. These applications are called Decision Support Systems (DSS) and allow managers to request the relevant data, select and apply the appropriate decision model and generate the output report in the required format. At the top of the pyramid, strategic management is responsible for defining the long-term goals and positioning the company within a particular industry. They require an information system that enables them to identify problems that may threaten the organization’s competitive position or opportunities and trends that may enhance it. Executive Information Systems (EIS) assist top-level executives with their daily information needs for top management control, as well as their strategic decision-making (Belle, et al., 2003; Laudon & Laudon, 2005).

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