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Information technology: a study of performance and the role of human and organizational factors

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The aim of this study was to gather and collate information from the major researchers and consultancies in the UK regarding the performance of Information Technology (IT) and the role of human and organizational factors. The findings are based on the experience of 45 of the leading experts in the UK, drawing on a collective sample of approximately 14,000 organizations, covering all major sectors of economic activity and a comprehensive range of information technologies. The main findings are that 80 - 90% of IT investments do not meet their performance objectives and the reasons for this are rarely purely technical in origin. The context of technical change, the ways in which IT is developed and implemented, a range of human and organizational factors, and the roles of managers and end-users, are identified as critical areas affecting performance. A major implication is that the poor performance of IT systems is the result of a complex set of interacting forces that will be difficult to change. The study reports ideas concerning 'best practice' within companies, along with some suggestions for what needs to be done on a national scale to improve performance and practice in this area. A key goal is that action on these human and organizational issues becomes embedded in practice, part of the natural way of managing organizational and technical change.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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