Incremental Cross-Generation Versioning in Decomposable Internet Software Products: Opportunities for Knowledge Management in ISD

Incremental Cross-Generation Versioning in Decomposable Internet Software Products: Opportunities for Knowledge Management in ISD

Amrit Tiwana (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-04-4.ch016
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Abstract

The most important factor distinguishing firms is the possession of knowledge, and the core differentiating skill is the ability to deploy that knowledge to their competitive advantage (Scott, 1998). Products of the turbulent information industries (Mendelson and Kraemer, 1998), especially those facilitated by the Internet, show the hitherto unseen promise of increasing returns. The flexibility to survive in turbulent technological environments, however, can only be achieved if positive feedback is not suppressed (Hall, 1997). This chapter examines incremental development and maintenance of software products designed to be used, delivered, and maintained through the Internet. Complex software products often go through a process of iterative evolution across several rapidly delivered versions, and the opportunities for knowledge management and application that arise in the midst of their evolution are discussed. We describe how both development and maintenance/upgrading of Internet software must be addressed in ways extending beyond traditional methods used for “traditional” information systems maintenance. Drawing on a diverse theory base, including information economics, emergence theory, and knowledge-based innovation, characteristics of Internet-based software applications are described; linkages between application modularity and decomposability with process knowledge are first explored; feasibility of managing component knowledge and renewing architectural knowledge is discussed; and finally, a conceptual model for managing process knowledge across generations and versions of decomposable applications to support software maintenance and evolution is presented.

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