Understanding IT Acquisitions: Associated Models

Understanding IT Acquisitions: Associated Models

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4201-0.ch004
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Abstract

IT acquisition processes are mostly organization specific and there is not enough evidence to establish that a successful acquisition process adopted in an organization would replicate the same scenario in another, but it is experienced that such predictability can be assured to a possible extent if organizations follow some best practices. Research in IT acquisition processes indicate varied results, and there are various models to address overarching issues related to IT acquisition processes showcasing IT preparedness in the organization. This chapter discusses various approaches pursued and models evolved in the area of IT acquisitions, processes to work on the preparedness of the organizations in managing IT infrastructure acquisitions, and their life cycles. This chapter includes discussions on models available for assessing the IT acquisition process, understanding organizational issues, capturing and analyzing user behaviour, and analyzing usability of the IT resources. Various models are also evaluated to understand their roles in capturing capability of the IT users in the organization, IT service providers, and component developers who participate in the acquisition process.
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Models Addressing Organizational Issues

In any IT acquisition process it is the responsibility of the IT service provider to display its credibility on providing required services to the acquiring organization as demanded. In some cases IT service providers guide IT acquiring organization to understand all the aspects of technology and various options. In business computing such credibility and competence are visible in terms of providing turnkey services for implementation of ERP, business intelligence applications and process automations like SCADA.

The acquisition model most often employed is the familiar “waterfall” development model in which well-defined increments of capability or technology are designed, developed, and implemented in a pre-specified order. The “flow” of releases is sequential and variations from the approved sequence are cause for a new baseline for the program. In extreme cases it may cause cancellation. However, as a new baseline generally triggers a complete top-to-bottom review of the program, delays are natural and often approvals at each step up the acquisition approval chain become more difficult to obtain (Melville, Kraemer and Gurbaxani, 2004; Defense Science Board, 2009).

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