Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Exploring Shared Services from an IS Perspective: A Literature Review and Research Agenda

Shared services have gained significance as an organizational arrangement, in particular for support functions, to reduce costs, increase quality, and create new capabilities. The information systems (IS) function is amenable to sharing arrangements and information systems can enable sharing in other functional areas. However, despite being a promising area for IS research, literature on shared services in the IS discipline is scarce and scattered. There is still little consensus on what shared services is. Moreover, a thorough understanding of why shared services are adopted, who are involved, and how things are shared is lacking. In this article, we set out to progress IS research on shared services by establishing a common ground for future research and proposing a research agenda to shape the field based on an analysis of the IS literature. We present a holistic and inclusive definition, discuss the primacy of economic-strategic objectives so far, and introduce conceptual frameworks for stakeholders and the notion of sharing. We also provide an overview of the theories and research methods applied. We propose a research agenda that addresses fundamental issues related to objectives, stakeholders, and the notion of sharing to lay the foundation for taking IS research on shared services forward.

See here for more information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

One-Stop Government Portals: Transformation or Navigation

E-government is seen as a promising approach for governments to improve their service towards citizens and become more cost-efficient in service delivery. This is often combined with one-stop government, which is a citizen-oriented approach stressing integrated provision of services from multiple departments via a single access point, the one-stop government portal. While the portal concept is gaining prominence in practice, there is little known about its status in academic literature. This hinders academics in building an accumulated body of knowledge around the concept and makes it hard for practitioners to access relevant academic insights on the topic. The objective of this study is to identify and understand the key themes of the one-stop government portal concept in academic, e-government research. A holistic analysis is provided by addressing different viewpoints: social-political, legal, organizational, user, security, service, data and information, and technical. As an overall finding, the authors conclude that there are two different approaches: a more pragmatic approach focuses on quick wins in particular related to usability and navigation and a more ambitious, transformational approach having far reaching social-political, legal, and organizational implications.

See here for more information.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Enterprise social networks : A business model perspective

Enterprise Social Networks continue to be adopted by organisations looking to increase collaboration between employees, customers and industry partners. Offering a varied range of features and functionality, this technology can be distinguished by the underlying business models that providers of this software deploy. This study identifies and describes the different business models through an analysis of leading Enterprise Social Networks: Yammer, Chatter, SharePoint, Connections, Jive, Facebook and Twitter. 

A key contribution of this research is the identification of consumer and corporate models as extreme approaches. These findings align well with research on the adoption of Enterprise Social Networks that has discussed bottom-up and top-down approaches. Of specific interest are hybrid models that wrap a corporate model within a consumer model and may, therefore, provide synergies on both models. From a broader perspective, this can be seen as the merging of the corporate and consumer markets for IT products and services.

See here for more information.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Business Model Canvas or Business Model thinking?

The Business Model Canvas presents us with a great tool for the design and innovation of business models. As with every specific approach or tool, the Canvas can also bias or blind us. This can be caused by the features of the tool itself as well as from the way in which the tool is (wrongly) used.

As with every solution for solving a problem, the features of the Business Model Canvas are determined by the framing and scoping of the problem. This means that compared to other business model frameworks and tools, the Business Model Canvas has certain strengths and weaknesses (see also my discussion on different frameworks here). For example, some of specific areas where the Business Model Canvas could fall short in are related to business networks, service logic and business dynamics.

Another potential hazard with using the Business Model Canvas is that its use gets reduced to just filling out the individual building blocks. This will not provide a holistic perspective on value creation as it omits the relationships between the building blocks, e.g. Dell could offer direct sales because they targeted corporate customers going for a repeat purchase. Moreover, every business model has an underlying rational or story.  This is easily missed when one limits oneself to the individual building blocks. The idea behind Southwest Airlines' business model can be described as making flying an alternative for taking a bus or car.

So while the Business Model Canvas can be very useful for supporting the design and innovation of business models, we should not fall into the trap that we therefore assume that we do not need to also think more broadly about the logic for creating and capturing customer value.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Service-oriented business models: Service as value logic

This post is part of a series that explores service-oriented business models based on different perspectives on service.

Successful firms use business model innovation to rethink the way they do business and transform industries. However, current research on business model innovation is lacking theoretical underpinnings and is in need of new insights. The objective of this paper is to advance our understanding of both the business model concept and business model innovation based on service logic as foundation for customer value and value creation.

We present and discuss a rationale for business models based on ‘service logic’ with service as a value-supporting process and compared it with a business model based on ‘goods logic’ with goods as value-supporting resources. The implications for each of the business model dimensions: customer, value proposition, organizational architecture and revenue model, are described and discussed in detail.

See here for more information.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A simple Business Model Canvas example – The library

Looking for a simple example to learn and teach the Business model Canvas that is not too MBA like? Why not take something familiar like a library? Easy to map out but still very insightful. See the example I included below (as far as I remember it from when I was a kid in the Netherlands).

There are lots of ways to extent this. When you want to explore the commercial side, compare it with a book shop example. Or when you want to discuss the impact of technology, discuss how an e-book library would look like.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Where do we find services in enterprise architectures?

In recent years, enterprise architecture (EA) has captured growing attention as a means to systematically consolidate and interrelate diverse IT artefacts in order to provide holistic decision support. Since the emergence of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), many attempts have been made to incorporate SOA artefacts in existing EA frameworks. Yet the approaches taken to achieve this goal differ substantially for the most commonly used EA frameworks to date.

This paper investigates and compares five widely used EA frameworks in the way they embrace the SOA paradigm. It identifies what SOA artefacts are considered to be in the respective EA frameworks and their relative position in the overall structure. The results show that services and related artefacts are far from being well-integrated constructs in current EA frameworks.

The comparison presented in this paper will support practitioners in identifying an EA framework that provides SOA support in a way that matches their requirements and will hopefully inspire the academic EA and SOA communities to work on a closer integration of these architectures.

See here for more information.