The Myth of Enterprise Database Redesign

The Myth of Enterprise Database Redesign

David Paper (Utah State University, USA), Kenneth B. Tingey (Utah State University, USA) and Wai Yin Mok (University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-057-8.ch007


This chapter illustrates how IT-enabled business process reengineering can fail if top management fails to understand the underlying process problems and limitations of data-centric enterprise software. Vicro Communications (we use a pseudonym to mask the organization’s name) attempted to reengineer its basic business processes with the aid of data-centric enterprise software. Vicro management however made the mistake of relying completely on enterprise software to improve the performance of its business processes. It was hoped that the software would increase information sharing, process efficiency, standardization of IT platforms, and data mining/warehousing capabilities. Management however made no attempt to rethink existing processes before embarking on a very expensive implementation of the software. Unfortunately for Vicro, the reengineering effort failed miserably even after investing hundreds of millions of dollars in software implementation. As a result, performance was not improved and the software is being phased out. By using a phenomenological approach, we were able to socially construct the events surrounding the case to gain a rich understanding of what really happened. From deep analysis, we were able to develop emergent theory about a set of factors influencing enterprise database integration success.

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