Lokasi Blog Baru http://blog.rohaza.com

March 3, 2008

SISP - Concept and Issues In The New Millennium

SISP - Concept and Issues In The New Millennium

By: Rohaza Binti Dollah (2004207052)
Faculty of Information Technology

And Quantitative Sciences

Universiti Teknologi MARA

Shah Alam, Selangor, MALAYSIA


Business has always been complex, but it is more so today than ever before. All companies or firms are subject to economic influence and compete in a worldwide marketplace, the technology or business is becoming more complex, the time frame for taking action is shrinking and there are social constraints. And to become a good company, the information system should managed properly in order to improve and to ensure that all the activities in the business are running on the right path. There were a few methodologies can be applied to the strategic planning which is might be different based the what type of the business activity. The strategist also have to consider what are the technology and methodology can be used for that particular company because once the SISP has been developed and implemented, all the business activities must be based on that plan.

Keywords : Management IS, Concept and



Technology is one of the most powerful tools in business of competitive weapons. It can transform the way a company works, the way it does business and the way it interacts with its customers. The result is not only an improvement in a company’s productivity and efficiency but also a major change in its basic philosophy. Technology is no longer a threat, absorbing vast amounts of capital for no apparent purpose. Instead,

it becomes a tool for enhancing a company’s performance and for gaining an edge over rivals. Good management see technology not as expenditure on the latest gadgetry but as an investment in making their companies more competitive and more successful. They invest in technology whether it’s a computer, fax machine, digital camera or else, only when they see it as a way to improve productivity on the ability to serve customers better, faster or more efficiently than before. But how sure this all technology can help company to achieve the goal, objectives and to be successful without a strategic planning on their information systems?

The Concept

A recent study by Yankelovich Partners concluded that, although company have the greatest potential for improvements from technology, most businesses do not use technology effectively. What is the primary reason? The answer is, they lack a comprehensive plan for integrating technology in ways that could transform their business or in the other words, they lack on strategic information system planning to transform their business. As we know, information system itself defined as an organized combination of people, hardware, software, communication networks and data resources that collects, transforms and disseminates information in an organization. All this elements should be managed properly to ensure that all their function is on the right track to support the business operations. Why the strategic information system planning is very important to company? In general, the goal of the strategic information systems planning is to create a competitive advantages(as said earlier) which is the aggregation of factors that set business apart from its competitors and gives it a unique position in the market. Every small or big company must establish a plan for creating a unique image in the minds of its potential customers. No business can be everything to everyone.

During the past few years, information system has probably devoted more attention to strategic planning than have most of the other business areas. More recently the term strategic planning for information systems has become popular. When information systems began to develop strategic plan, the recommended approach was to base those plans entirely on the company’s strategic objectives. As a second separate step, an information systems plan was denied to support the company’s objectives and its consisted of objectives, constraints and strategies. When it comes to develop a strategic plan, a company have a variety of natural advantages over their competitors. The typical business has fewer product or service lines, a better defined customers base and a specific geographic market area. Strategic information system planning can increase a company’s effectiveness, but owners first must have a procedure or methodologies designed to meet their needs and their business’s special characteristic. One business to another business need a different approach for their strategic planning process. There are a few methodologies on how to create a strategic plan depends on what type of business and what type of technology for the business. For example, Method/I, Business System Planning, Critical Success Factor, Information Engineering, Value Chain Analysis, Portes’s 5 Forces and Customer Oriented Strategic System. There may be another methodologies applied in another business which is may be it has been created based on experiences, and so on. Now, information system or information technology cannot be separated from the business because without this two elements, business cannot compete with the other rivals. As we know that the main objectives of the strategic information system planning is to support the business in term of operations effectively and try to reduce which ever gap or constraints in the company. What the most important is the top management should have better understanding what is the strategic information system planning and how does is can improve or help the company to get a better improvement? Because what may be the top management will consider is what happen to the company’s vision and mission, how about the business strategy applied before if the strategic information system planning took place in the company. And what will all the managers at all levels think about this plan. At this stage, may be the company should hire expertise or consultant to give a better explanation, to study what is the needs and requirement for both sides(the company itself and customer), and at final stage or phase present this report to the management on how the strategic information system planning will help the company better than before. May be the company can use a few methodologies that has been defined or may be can develop their own method to meet their business requirement. It is all up to the decision after the study has been made.

As said earlier that one business to another business have a different methodologies depends on what type of business, the strategy and mission or vision of particular company. For example, Company A prefer to use a method called Critical Success Factor because they believe that this methodologies meet their requirement. But for Company B, it is different because the interested to develop their own methodology which is based on the consultant’s experience on strategic information system planning.

To be a successful company, the management must concern about how information technology can help their business not only depend on people. They should take the advantage to exploiting information technology to create innovative and strategic business information systems for the competitive advantage . That is the point.

The Issues

SISP defined by Mc Bride(1998), “ The continuous review of computer technology applications and management structure to ensure that current anticipated information and process needs of the organization are met in a way that provides an acceptable return of investment(ROI), is sensitive to the dynamic politics and culture of the organization and is a aware of the sociological environment within which the organization exists.” From here we can conclude that from time to time the strategic planning on the information system have to be reviewed because as we can see that the technology rapidly change and of course it will effect the strategic planning even though it is only a minor change but it still a big matter for the company’s business strategy and so on. For example, the company has developed a 5 years planning, within this 5 years they keep applying this plan but suddenly a few things has changed on the fourth year of their planning. What they should do is has to revised the plan , study and do some changes in order to meet their business requirement and technology required. Meaning the company cannot stick to the previous strategy because time is changing, people changes, business requirement changes, customer’s need also change and so on. People changes is referred to the people at the top management and management level those who involve in making decision for the entire company’s objective. Different management might have different approaches to gain their mission and vision in their company. They also might be want to develop their own strategy. And most probably certain people those at management level already have their own plan on how to run their business not depend on previous strategic planning that has been developed by previous management or previous strategist in the company. Business requirement might be change from time to time meaning that this is based the needs of customer. It is also depend on the geography area, what people or customer want it either services or product provided by that company.

Another issues is on how to implement the strategic planning is, will the top management which 70s or 80s generation can adapt themselves with all of this? How would they change their principle or concept, or might be their thinking on how to run the business? That is the concern. How does the people who was trained or educated with the functional and structured programming simply change to the object-oriented programming concept? It is about matter of time. But, the top management especially president or vice president has all the sources to apply all this strategic planning based on their decision for their own good. One thing the top management need to understand that is the strategic information systems planning is a business driven not a technology driven which means, the technology as tools will provides the solution to support the business effectively and to reduce the cost for unnecessary activities which might be make lost for the company. Increasingly, the manager or management pay attention to information system management. The reasons are twofold. First, business activity has become increasingly complex. Second, the computer or technology has required improved capabilities.

It is no doubt that all people at the management levels want to be a good leader at the company. Of course they want to bring something good for the company. So in this case, there were no reason for them to refused to develop and implement the strategic planning in the company to achieve the business target. What necessary is even though they are from different generation, it is should not be a problem if they were explained clearly on what this SISP can do for them.

Theoretically, once SISP has been developed and implemented, the company has no problem for gaining their business objective. The company can improve their business activity for example, sales department can achieve their target every month, customer service in-charged can respond to the customer less than particular hours compared to few hours before and at last customer very happy with that company. But, in reality, it is only a strategic plan and there were no guaranteed that once this particular company has implemented the SISP, it will be a successful company.

What SISP can helps the company is to ensure that all the business activities running on the right path than before. May be before the business does a bit slow before but after the study has been made by the strategist in order to get a clear picture about the company whether it is an interview with the staff(from top to the bottom), they can figure out what is wrong with the company’s operations, is it because of technology itself or people do not know how to use the technology effectively or how to relate the technology in their work. Or may be the problem occurred because communications broke down with the management and staff. This all kind of question must be concern or must be pay attention because we do not know the problem until we find out seriously. Due to this poor alignment (after study has been made), although the company invest a lot of money in information systems to compete more effectively, they still continue with the bad experiences of performance. The profit still not as high as expectation, the client looks like not satisfy with the service and so on. One by one the problem came out after survey or study has been made. That is why SISP so important on how to improve the company’s performance. With the SISP the management can figure out what necessary and unnecessary activities in business. In other hand, “ alignment is not a straightforward management activity, it may involve management improvisation and opportunism” . That is why sometimes there were conflict within the management itself because different manager or different management have their own style to manage the business. It is more difficult to implement the SISP.


There were a few approaches of the SISP to applied to the business in order to improve their performance consists of efficiency and productivity. But certain company prefer to use their own style of methodology on how to implement the SISP in their company because there were no specific method for the business. Meaning, if the top management of a company have decided to develop and implemented the SISP as a tool for their business activity, the study must take place at the first glance by the strategist. This is very important because to develop a strategic plan, they should know the culture of the company where its exists. The strategist must get the clear picture about the whole entire company, such as what are the current and previous activities, observations for the working environment, the technology being used and so on. It is either through observation or interview. What the most important is the management should know that the concept of SISP which is it is as a tool to support the business activity and it is also based on business not on technology. On the other hand, the SISP is business driven not a technology driven. The strategist should consider what is the suitable approach of SISP to implemented in that particular company because this strategic plan will affected to the entire company’s objective and business strategy.


Earl, M.J. Experiences In Strategic Information Systems Planning. MIS Quarterly, March 1993

Yolande E. Chan Why Haven’t We Mastered Alignment? The Importance Of The Informal Organization Structure, MIS Querterly Executive Vol. 1 No. 2, June 2002

Thomas W. Zimmerer & Scarborough, Norman M, Effective Small Business Management 6th Edition, Prentice Hall, London, 2000

Raymond MacLeod, Jr & George Schell, Management Information Systems, Prentice Hall 8th Edition, 2001


Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template