Linking Business Processes and Information Systems Provision in a Dynamic Environment

Research paper by I. Beeson, S. Green, J. Sa, A. Sully

Indexed on: 01 Sep '02Published on: 01 Sep '02Published in: Information Systems Frontiers


This paper discusses decision and communication processes which link strategic activity in a business with information systems development activity. We develop a model which illustrates these processes as observed in one company (AXA Sun Life, Bristol HQ), but we suggest there may be generalizable features. We use Role Activity Diagrams as our diagramming method.In most organizations it is impractical to achieve a fully articulated business model and IS architecture. Organizations do try to make development (or acquisition) of information systems which will serve business needs as orderly as they can, in circumstances which are inherently complex and unstable. We suggest that the degree of regularity which is achieved in IS development within the business context comes not so much from following one overarching plan, as from a continuous process of adjustment, in which local short-term plans are weighed against current understanding of the business's key interests. What is needed to aid this process is a general framework of communication and decision making within which plans can be reviewed and modified in the light of changing circumstances. This paper presents an attempt to reveal and represent such a framework.