Sustainability Evaluation of IT/IS Projects

Sustainability Evaluation of IT/IS Projects

Gilbert Silvius (LOI University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands & University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3817-2.ch002
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Abstract

Sustainability is without doubt one of the most important challenges of our time. How can one develop prosperity without compromising the life of future generations? Companies are integrating concepts of sustainability in their marketing, corporate communications, annual reports and in their actions. Information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) provide organizations with the ability to change and improve business processes to better support sustainable practices. IT/IS evaluation methods should therefore reflect this ability and include criteria for the assessment of sustainability aspects of IT/IS projects. However, IT/IS evaluation methods are today still dominated by the economical perspective that resulted from the infamous IT productivity paradox. This paper aims to broaden the perspective on IT/IS evaluation, by exploring the integration of indicators that reflect the concepts of sustainability into IT/IS evaluation methods. Based on an identification IT/IS evaluation methods and an overview of frameworks for sustainability indicators, an analysis is made of the inclusion of the indicators and principles of sustainability assessment in IT/IS evaluation methods. The analysis will conclude that integrating sustainability considerations in IT/IS evaluation requires far more than a set of additional criteria to be considered.
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It/Is Evaluation

Through research and in practice, a substantial number of evaluation methods to assess the contribution of IS/IT to business performance was developed. After considering over 50 evaluation methods Renkema and Berghout (1996) grouped these methods into four categories: Financial methods, Multi-criteria methods, Ratio methods and Portfolio methods.

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