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|Title: ||CIO's Beware: Very Large Scale Systems Projects|
|Authors: ||Laudon, Kenneth C.|
|Issue Date: ||Jan-1995|
|Publisher: ||Stern School of Business, New York University|
|Series/Report no.: ||IS-95-09|
|Abstract: ||Very Large Scale Systems (VLSS) play a powerful role in shaping what an
organization does and can do in a practical sense. VLSS are deeply embedded in the
organizational procedures, business plans, and strategies. These systems evolve over long
periods of time, often not according to some rational plan, and for a limited time they
provide a significant competitive advantage over other firms. In the long run, however,
VLSS become strategic liabilities and must be rebuilt.
Many organizations experience great difficulty rebuilding VLSS . Indeed, most
organizations attempt to avoid rebuilding VLSS until the last possible moment. Often, the
organization is in a state of crisis, a strategic transition. Because of the complexity and
size of VLSS, existing methodologies often are not helpful. To make matters worse, the
typical management incentive structure discourages rebuilding VLSS.
In a typical VLSS effort, participants soon discover that they must rebuild the
organization in order to take full advantage of new technologies. A major organizational
engineering effort is often required. Senior management as well as systems management
routinely underestimate the complexity of the task before them. Consequently, large
errors are made in estimating costs and time.
Drawing on research in both the private and public sector, this paper examines why
VLSS fail, why are VLSS so difficult to rebuild, what are the strategy options, and how
can senior management guide the rebuilding process.|
|Appears in Collections:||IOMS: Information Systems Working Papers|
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