Information Systems Governance: The Case of the Largest Companies in Portugal

Information Systems Governance: The Case of the Largest Companies in Portugal

Almiro de Oliveira (Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal) and Pedro Fernandes Anunciação (Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5393-9.ch011

Abstract

The complexity of the environment and economical operation, tightly integrated with information and communication technologies, have challenged the management to adopt new paradigms and new approaches associated with new operating models. Internet of things, cloud computing, governance, and urbanism are some examples of new paradigms and new approaches in the area of information systems, which highlight the information as a basic resource for economic activity and justify the need to ensure appropriately the functions of production, storage, and distribution insofar as of its quality and availability depends on the effectiveness of corporate governance. This chapter, carried out by the European Club for Information Systems Governance in 2011 and 2012, provides evidence about the governance practices adopted in the area of information systems by large economic organizations in Portugal.
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Introduction

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have assumed an increasingly important role in the development of economic activities and support for organizational activities. Economic activities are strongly dependent on ICT and they play a conditioning role in the respective management options. Through them, managers seek to improve levels of organizational efficiency and effectiveness, as well as levels of knowledge. However, organizations are simultaneously confronted with increments of organizational complexity resulting from new economic and commercial dynamics that are established supported in more interactive systems of technological characteristics.

Expressions like cloud computing, big data; information systems project management; organizational impacts; sustainability, networks privacy, ethics, return on investment; supply chain, business analytics, enterprise systems, ICT platforms, Chief Information Officer strategy, economic focus on technologies, ICT investments and associated costs, payback, security of Information Systems (IS), among other aspects, highlight the doubts associated with these issues and, consequently, the dimensions of Information Systems Governance in economic organizations (Pearlson & Saunders, 2013). Questions such as the economic value gained or the gains in competitiveness achieved through IS/ICT are examples that managers are currently facing. The answer to these and other associated questions passes through the value obtained with the main current economic resource, the information. Understanding the central role of information in the current context of society and the economy, known as the Information Society, is often hampered by the absence of an architectural framework in economic organizations.

OECD (2017) highlights some central recommendations to Government responsibilities, considering the global trends in the context of the information society challenges:

  • What are the latest developments in government innovation? The recommendations for Governments are:

    • o

      Signal innovation as a priority;

    • o

      Enable connections across and beyond government;

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      Promote trust through transparency and responsiveness;

    • o

      Forge partnerships with all relevant players;

  • Human and machine: pairing human knowledge with innovative tools. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Manage data as an asset for many uses and users;

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      Open data to fuel innovation;

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      Develop open checks and balances;

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      Integrate resilience in system design;

  • Zoom in or zoom out: scaling government. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Provide a common ground for collaboration;

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      Build shared approaches to encourage innovation;

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      Be a willing and responsive partner;

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      Build trust through transparency;

  • Citizens as experts: redefining citizen-government bounderies. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Provide a common ground for collaboration;

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      Develop government-wide engagement strategies;

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      Arm public employees and citizens with tools to connect and establish dialogue;

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      Build evaluation into the innovation process;

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      Take feedback into account and reconnect with citizens;

  • Mass or personalized services: the next generation of services delivery. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Clarify rules and regulations;

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      Promote interaction among civil servants;

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      Catalogue data comprehensively;

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      Be transparent about data collection and use;

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      Engage partners with shared values

  • Experimental government: small bets with big potencial. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Provide empowerment and space for innovation and experimentation;

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      Ensure the system is flexible;

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      Build the institutional infrastructure to scale-up successes;

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      Consider ethics protocols for experimentation;

  • Breaking the norms: rethinking the machinery of government. The key recommendations are:

    • o

      Do not accept the system as a given

    • o

      Undertake systems analysis through an innovation lens;

    • o

      Invest in human capacity;

    • o

      Encourage cross-government networks.

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