Executing a Real-Time Response in an Agile Information System

Executing a Real-Time Response in an Agile Information System

Pankaj Chaudhary (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA), James A. Rodger (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA) and Micki Hyde (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 42
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6367-9.ch016


Agile information systems (AIS) is a current topic of interest in the IS industry. An AIS is defined as one that has ability to sense a change in real time, diagnose it in real time, and select and execute an action in real time. This study focuses on the properties or attributes of an AIS to execute an action in real time. The properties outlined in this research enable an AIS to select a response in real time and then execute a response in real time. The attributes are derived using industry literature, refined using interviews with industry practitioners and then verified for importance using a survey. From the exercise it is concluded that most properties or attributes are important for real-time execution in an AIS. Dimensions underlying these attributes are identified using EFA. Some recent frameworks and paradigms related to IS configurations that can respond to changes in real time are discussed. These frameworks incorporate many of the properties that were arrived for executing a change in real time in an agile IS and hence provide additional validation for the research.
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The current business environment and environment in general is characterized by change, uncertainty, and turbulence. The rate of change is fast and unpredictable. There are many sources of change. Changing and evolving technology, change in consumer demographics (e.g. aging in certain societies), change in customer demand, new competitors (in the same product category and serving as substitute products), etc., are all sources of change that an organization in today’s environment has to deal with on a regular basis. The seamless flow of information on a global scale and global competition means that the impact of a change can occur fast and come from any corner of the world, not just locally or even from within the country. Organizations need to be proactive in anticipating change and responding to it in real-time, to stay competitive in the marketplace. Organizations also need to be able to react in real-time to a change that has occurred, again not just to stay competitive but also for survival. Organizations then need to develop the capability to respond to a change in real-time (refer to Pankaj et al., (2009) for a more detailed treatment). This capability may be defined as agility. As per a Computer Associates survey, 84% of the executives believe that the capability to respond more quickly to new opportunities will give them a distinct advantage, 65% believe that improved agility will result in higher customer satisfaction, and 58% believe that it will result in a higher employee productivity and retention (Orton-Jones, 2017).

Agility is a multi-faceted concept which pervades all aspects of an organization (Pankaj, 2009). Information is an integral part of any organization’s operations, functions, and processes (Tushman & Nadler, 1978), and Information Systems (IS) are a necessity for any modern organization where information processing is concerned (Pankaj & Hyde, 2003). Additionally, IS are needed for organizational agility on account of their ability to provide shared, distributed and integrated, current, and fast-flowing information (Bajgoric, 2000; Bal, Wilding, & Gundry, 1999; Christopher, 2000; Hoek, 2000; Mason-Jones & Towill, 1999; Sharifi & Zhang, 1999; Yusuf, Sarahadi, & Gunasekaran, 1999). Hence information and the information processing mechanisms (IS) in a modern organization are an integral consideration in agility of an organization.

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