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|Title: ||CIO's Beware: Very Large Scale Systems Projects|
|Authors: ||Laudon, Kenneth C.|
|Issue Date: ||1992|
|Publisher: ||Stern School of Business, New York University|
|Series/Report no.: ||IS-94-06|
|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 an
organization's 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
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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