What drives IT performance?

Oct 26, 2011

Going online was once a considerable achievement for a business. Now it's a given and what makes for success is how well a business exploits its online capabilities, according to a recent study.

The research examined the role played by (IT) in plans of small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs). It examined the direct effect on the management and usage of IT, and most importantly, on its performance.

"The value of computer-based advanced applications for manufacturing SMEs depends on how these applications are aligned with the companies' ," says second author Anne-Marie Croteau, an associate professor in the Department of Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems (DSMIS) at Concordia's John Molson School of Business.

The study, The Strategic Role of IT: An of its Impact on IT Performance in Manufacturing SMEs, was published as part of the Sixth International Conference on Internet and and Services. It focused on IT performance in 44 manufacturing SMEs in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France, where firms had between 10 and 299 employees.

Louis Raymond, a professor of information systems at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Canada Research Chair in Business Performance, oversaw the study's data collection. Croteau and François Bergeron, a professor at the Télé-Université de l'Université de Québec à Montréal (TELUQ), contributed to the research model and discussion of findings.

Internet and the web are key to a business's ability to survive -- much less compete -- in a fragile economy. SMEs exploit their technological applications online to control what they buy and what they produce throughout the manufacturing process. IT allows them to assess the impact of their product on the market and to adapt their manufacturing process when necessary.

"We found that the role given to technological applications in a manufacturing SME's strategic plan positively affects how they perform for the business," continues Croteau. "First, it affects IT performance directly, and second, it affects how IT performs in an indirect way, via its influence on how well the technology is managed but how users exploit the information made available to them through the applications."

Management in manufacturing SMEs -- small businesses, in particular -- often leave IT at the disposal of finance or accounting. This subordination of the creative possibilities of IT curtails technological benefits that might otherwise accrue.

"When a manufacturing SME values technological applications as a necessity for core business processes, management adopts practices that integrate IT at multiple levels of marketing, production, customer relations and e-business," reports lead author Raymond. "With the result that IT reaps noteworthy benefits in all those areas."

One way to recognize whether a SME is on the ball and understands the potential of its technologies is the proportion of IT applications being used at the various decision-making levels. Another way is the position of assigned IT on the power ladder.

An autonomous IT with a designated manager occupying a high level in the hierarchy of an organization is an indication of a sophisticated management.

Explore further: Sony forecasts $2B loss as smartphones lag (Update)

More information: Cited study: www.thinkmind.org/index.php?vi… e&instance=ICIW+2011

Provided by Concordia University

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

To plan or not to plan is not the right question

Jun 15, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- New research from the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurial Performance & Economics at Cranfield School of Management and the Centre for SMEs at Warwick Business School has revealed that having the right business ...

Researchers improve performance of iron-based catalysts

Aug 10, 2011

Having pioneered the development of the first high-performance iron-based catalyst for fuel cells, researchers at INRS recently achieved a second major advance. They developed a new and improved iron-based catalyst capable ...

Profiting on the Internet

Mar 17, 2010

Despite the hyperbole, there are many examples that prove that business use of the Internet is not always profitable, the bursting of the dot.com bubble aside. Now, a Tunisian researcher reports in the International Journal of ...

Reducing Expenses, Increasing Profits

Sep 11, 2006

A University of Arkansas researcher studied 123 manufacturing firms -- high-tech and non-high-tech -- and found that implementation of information-technology-based supply-chain management systems has an overall positive impact ...

Recommended for you

Sony forecasts $2B loss as smartphones lag (Update)

20 hours ago

Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.

Alibaba post-IPO structure gives insiders control

21 hours ago

Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale.

User comments : 0