A Study on the “Flexibility” of Information Systems (Part 2): How can We Make Them Flexible?

Masaru Furukawa, Akira MInami


This study analyzes the problems faced by information systems (IS) managers and elucidates that failure of their
IS division to fully meet the needs of their corporate end-users causes these problems. IT evolution has been
reviewed with a view to identify a solution for these issues. Studies have revealed that increased coverage of IS
led to co-ordination difficulties among concerned parties and excessive workload for an IS division. On the
basis of this finding, we analyzed the needs for IS architectural renovation and to structure the IS architecture
into one with greater built-inflexibility, such that IS engineers can make prompt functional modifications and
end-users can easily acquire proficiency in using the modified functions.

In this paper, we address our second question of how IS can be made flexible. We begin by citing the concept of
“penalty of change” to define the relationship between the flexibility and utility of IS modifications in Part 1.
Then, we discuss the need for IS architectural renovation and its role in reducing the complexity of IS functions,
thereby enhancing IS flexibility. Next, we define the relevant “external” and “internal” flexibility factors
underlying IS flexibility and analyze their interrelationship. Building on this groundwork, we conclude by
proposing an appropriate procedure. We implement this procedure to construct a flexibility-oriented
medium-term development plan, comprising the optimal combination of IS architectural renovation and a series
of IS modification projects.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijbm.v8n19p73

International Journal of Business and Management   ISSN 1833-3850 (Print)   ISSN 1833-8119 (Online)

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