THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FROM A COMPLEX SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE Jesús Marcelo Ramírez Arias Programa de Posgrado en...
Content <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>SMEs as CAS </li></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><u...
Introduction <ul><li>IT use in the world </li></ul>Source: S urvey to IT executives, The Business Performance Management I...
Introduction <ul><li>IT projects in the word </li></ul>Source: Standish Group (Chaos Report) (Rubinstein 2007, p:1)
Introduction <ul><li>México and the use of IT </li></ul>Source: Visión México 2020 (AMITI, CANIETI, FMD 2006, p:76)
Introduction <ul><li>¿What is IT? </li></ul>Source: Chaffey y Wood 2005, p:42 Software Tele communications Hardware Inform...
SMEs as CAS <ul><li>IT projects developed in organizations are, in most of the cases, related to the implementation of inf...
SMEs as CAS <ul><li>If the information managed is always changing, it results paradoxical that the design, implementation,...
SMEs as CAS <ul><li>If information provision in the organization produces a disadvantageous change, it will try to adapt t...
SMEs as CAS <ul><li>Posited ontological layers in the small firm domain </li></ul>
SMEs as CAS <ul><li>Carlisle and McMillan (2006),  place organizations along a spectrum, ranging from random, unorganized ...
Las PyME como SAC <ul><li>Types of system and degrees of order and stability </li></ul>
Method <ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two levels of analysis were performed, organization's mechanics...
Method <ul><li>Diagnosis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The diagnosis was applied to a SME performing work supervision and control ...
Method <ul><li>Constraints. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low knowledge level about work processes and procedures.  </li></ul></ul...
Results <ul><li>Original organizational structure. </li></ul>General Director General Coordinator Work Coordinator Work Su...
Results <ul><li>New organizational structure </li></ul>General Director Executive Director Operations Finance and Accounti...
Results <ul><li>Environment and Projects Information Management Process. </li></ul>Projects Software Administrative Softwa...
Discussion <ul><li>This work hypothesis is: an SME can be understood as a CAS in order to perform a better selection of IT...
Conclusions <ul><li>There is evidence that SMEs can be classified as  loosely coupled systems. </li></ul><ul><li>In organi...
Conclusions <ul><li>The loosely coupling and ‘the edge of chaos’ operation must not be understood as synonym of low perfor...
THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FROM A COMPLEX SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE Jesús Marcelo Ramírez Arias [email_address] www.app...
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The Use of Information Technologies from a Complex Systems Perspective

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Mexican companies have a low success index in the implementation of Information Technology (IT) systems, measured as improvement in productivity and efficiency. Statistics shows only 26 percent of executives willing to continue investing in IT, whereas 43 percent do not intend to invest again in this type of technology. The perception of failure in implementation shows that organizations require new capabilities to get the benefits associated with IT.

Small enterprises are more suitable to apply complexity theories because of its manageable size. If successful, the firm grows according to the demands of the market. This growing occurs so rapidly that there is no time for organizational design, and all the core functions are performed by a single individual: the entrepreneur. At this stage there is the need to define processes, functions, and procedures; however this is not an easy task because the enterprise has become so complex that trying to uncover the hidden order within the brain of the entrepreneur becomes a long term effort.

It is presented the case of a small enterprise which aims to develop its organizational capabilities through an information system, which keeps its members informed on the status of the firm projects. The application of the complex adaptive systems concepts allowed to identify the specific enterprise information needs, and to develop a plan for technological update, which aligns with the short and medium term objectives of the organization. This planning process will reduce the cost of the information system.

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The Use of Information Technologies from a Complex Systems Perspective

  1. 1. THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FROM A COMPLEX SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE Jesús Marcelo Ramírez Arias Programa de Posgrado en Ingeniería Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Jaime Jiménez Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y Sistemas Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico June 23rd 2008
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>SMEs as CAS </li></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>IT use in the world </li></ul>Source: S urvey to IT executives, The Business Performance Management Institute (Wood 2006, p:2)
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>IT projects in the word </li></ul>Source: Standish Group (Chaos Report) (Rubinstein 2007, p:1)
  5. 5. Introduction <ul><li>México and the use of IT </li></ul>Source: Visión México 2020 (AMITI, CANIETI, FMD 2006, p:76)
  6. 6. Introduction <ul><li>¿What is IT? </li></ul>Source: Chaffey y Wood 2005, p:42 Software Tele communications Hardware Information Technologies IT
  7. 7. SMEs as CAS <ul><li>IT projects developed in organizations are, in most of the cases, related to the implementation of information systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The problem is the sorted data provision, which has to be reliable and according to the always changing activities performed by the organization and/or its members. </li></ul>
  8. 8. SMEs as CAS <ul><li>If the information managed is always changing, it results paradoxical that the design, implementation, and use of IT in organizations (in particular information systems) are practices widely founded in notions of rationality and method. </li></ul><ul><li>The organizational context is a critical success factor when we try to get the advantages related to IT implementation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. SMEs as CAS <ul><li>If information provision in the organization produces a disadvantageous change, it will try to adapt to this change, in order to get back its earlier status. </li></ul><ul><li>Fuller and Morán (2001), suggest that the enterprise can be understood as existing in different layers, possibly unconnected and with different meaning and characteristics. </li></ul>
  10. 10. SMEs as CAS <ul><li>Posited ontological layers in the small firm domain </li></ul>
  11. 11. SMEs as CAS <ul><li>Carlisle and McMillan (2006), place organizations along a spectrum, ranging from random, unorganized and highly chaotic to highly ordered and mechanistic. </li></ul><ul><li>In the middle lies the complex adaptive system behaviors . </li></ul>
  12. 12. Las PyME como SAC <ul><li>Types of system and degrees of order and stability </li></ul>
  13. 13. Method <ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two levels of analysis were performed, organization's mechanics and dynamics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanics analysis, allows to know were the organization is going to and which are the available resources (human and material). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamics analysis, studies the way people interact and the means or tools utilized to develop their functions. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Method <ul><li>Diagnosis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The diagnosis was applied to a SME performing work supervision and control in construction and remodelling projects for banks and stores. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 members of the staff were interviewed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews were oriented to discover the information requirements of each one of the members in the organization. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Method <ul><li>Constraints. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low knowledge level about work processes and procedures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The organization members were not able to establish a solid relationship between the results generated and their information needs. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Results <ul><li>Original organizational structure. </li></ul>General Director General Coordinator Work Coordinator Work Supervisor Assistant Project Manager Work Supervisor Work Supervisor Organization Project Project Director Work Supervisor
  17. 17. Results <ul><li>New organizational structure </li></ul>General Director Executive Director Operations Finance and Accounting Planning and Systems Project Manager Technical Coordinator Administrative Coordinator Assistant Project Manager Technical Coordinator Administrative Coordinator Organization Project
  18. 18. Results <ul><li>Environment and Projects Information Management Process. </li></ul>Projects Software Administrative Software Operations Finance and Accounting Planning and Systems Information Information Information
  19. 19. Discussion <ul><li>This work hypothesis is: an SME can be understood as a CAS in order to perform a better selection of IT. </li></ul><ul><li>The survival of SMEs is similar to CAS. It is not certain, but in rapidly changing environments it will try to increase its chances by seeking to operate primarily at ‘the edge of chaos’. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Conclusions <ul><li>There is evidence that SMEs can be classified as loosely coupled systems. </li></ul><ul><li>In organizations the actors are complex, teleological and if the environment is appropriate they become autonomous. This is why IT implementation in organizations and specially SMEs has high failure probability. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>The loosely coupling and ‘the edge of chaos’ operation must not be understood as synonym of low performance or informal organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>It is necessary to focus the initial diagnosis in discovering the relationship between the organization members rather than in its goals and objectives. This will conduce to the definition of the “instability – stability” position. </li></ul>
  22. 22. THE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES FROM A COMPLEX SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE Jesús Marcelo Ramírez Arias [email_address] www.applicar.com Jaime Jiménez [email_address] www.iimas.unam.mx

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