Big data is at the pinnacle of its hype cycle, offering big promise. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, yet not many know how to start and get the most out of their big data initiatives. We suggest that realizing benefits with big data depends on having the right capabilities for the right problems. When there is a discrepancy between these, organizations struggle to make sense of their data. Based on information processing theory, in this research-in-progress we suggest that there needs to be a fit between big data processing requirements and big data processing capabilities, so that organizations can realize value from their big data initiative.
In this chapter, we introduce a framework that can be used by organizations as a positioning instrument to think of business-ICT alignment decisions in light of the strategic importance of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in their organization. We make a distinction between organizations where ICT is of high strategic importance and those where ICT is of low strategic importance. Based on this difference we argue that heavily investing in business-ICT alignment processes, structures and roles (PSRs) will not necessarily always be beneficial when ICT is of low strategic importance to the business. Furthermore, organizations that have a minimalist approach to the use of ICT do not necessarily need to invest in business-ICT alignment PSRs. We explain the dynamics and possible migration scenarios of our proposed framework after testing the statistical significance of the relationship between the strategic importance of ICT and the investment in business-ICT alignment. We end this article with a short empirical study which combines survey and case study results. Both the framework and framework dynamics still need further empirical validation, preferably with longitudinal data. Therefore, we stress and acknowledge that many of the discussions in this article are still explorative in nature. However, this article illustrates the possibilities and the need for a more fine-grained approach to business-ICT alignment.
The original paper investigated, on a large sample of manufacturing firms, the adoption of Internet-based tools to support supply chain processes. Four strategies are identified, according to the level of adoption of e-commerce, e-procurement and e-operations. The four strategies are subsequently analysed according to contingent factors and supply chain integration mechanisms. Results show a clear relationship between the use of Internet-based tools and the adoption of integration mechanisms. The commentary shows that the paper has been widely cited in both operations, supply chain and ICT literature, recognizing its seminal contribution to the analysis of the impact of Internet technologies on supply chain processes, their relations with supply chain integration and their impact on performance. The research directions suggested in the original papers are discussed analyzing the subsequent literature, including the replication studies performed by the original authors. The importance of investigating emerging topics, as well as observing their evolution over time, is highlighted.
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