Upgrade Decision Support Model (UDSM) for enterprise systems: drivers and processes

Feldman, Gerald George (2015) Upgrade Decision Support Model (UDSM) for enterprise systems: drivers and processes. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

Enterprise Systems (ES) have matured over the years, offering continuous improvement to the underlying technology and functionality, hence, it is reasonable to anticipate that organisations would upgrade their systems to realise the benefits of these improvements. However, the range of benefits and risks involved within upgrade projects, motivates only few organisations to upgrade; indicating that upgrade decision-making is not trivial, and requires a comprehensive consideration of the impacts, efforts, and benefits. To date, research on ES upgrade recommends practical guidance for managing and supporting upgrade projects, with few studies focusing on upgrade decision-making, yet the upgrade decision process remains one of the areas in post-implementation that is least explored.

This research investigates the interrelated aspects of ES upgrade phenomena to explore the drivers and decision processes. A qualitative survey design was adopted to explore ES upgrade decision-making process and through web-based questionnaires and semistructured interviews, qualitative data from 41 respondents representing 23 organisations was collected, coded, and analysed. Drawing from the Technology-OrganisationEnvironment (T-O-E) framework and process view of decision-making to theorise the findings, this research proposes an Upgrade Decision Support Model (UDSM) to represent ES upgrade decision-making process. The model comprises of two phases namely exploration and evaluation. The evaluation phase consists of two processes, which are objective assessment and strategy selection. In addition, objective assessment includes three sub-processes these are technical analysis, functional gap-fit analysis, and impact assessment.

The study findings indicate that the decision to upgrade is an outcome of understanding the upgrade need, possible impacts, and benefits. Thus, asserting the importance of assessing the level of change, effort required and modifications to be reapplied prior to the upgrade decision. Additionally, the findings advocate that there is a relationship between upgrade drivers and the selection of an upgrade strategy, which guides the processes undertaken during the decision-making. This research contributes key insights on ES upgrade decisionmaking offering a thorough understanding of the drivers and processes. In addition, it presents decision makers with a methodical strategy for approaching upgrade decisions; hence, enables the identification of possible challenges and measures to overcome these issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
H700 Production and Manufacturing Engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
UoA Collections > PhD Theses Collection
Depositing User: Mr Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2017 11:42
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4854

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