Key issues in management of information systems in the Australian environment

Usman, Syed Arshad (1997) Key issues in management of information systems in the Australian environment. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


This research is an exploratory study of key Information Systems (IS) issues in the management of information systems in the Australian business environment. Many information systems managers face a difficult task because they operate in the nexus between information technology and senior management. IS managers must be able to interpret trends in information technology, assess their impact on the organisation and decide which technologies to adopt. This process is becoming even more crucial as communications and information technologies are merging. Deciding on the proportion of resources allocated to business, technical, human resources, systems development or managerial problems is an important facet of the IS manager's job. Only by studying key IS issues in the management of information systems are IS professionals able to analyse the impact of these issues on the skills and knowledge requirements within organisations. Knowledge of these issues will help IS professionals in the future development of information systems. This study sampled 450 organisations from the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Organisations with number of employees greater than 500 were used and a useable survey of 76 replies formed the basis for analysis. The key IS issues that made up the research instrument were compiled by analysing and conglomerating previous key issues surveys. It is apparent from the comparison findings that the key IS issues are fluid in nature and great care needs to be taken in developing lists of issues. Four research questions formed the basis of this study. The main aim and the first research question was to identify key IS issues in the management of information systems in the Australian business environment. The issues were grouped into three categories, unanimous agreement, probable agreement and ambivalent. Main findings for this question showed that two business issues, IS Strategic Planning and IS for Competition ranked top. The human resource issues, Education for IS Staff and Human Resources for IS, were in the bottom group of issues. The rating of the issues showed that the IS professional needs a mixture of business, human resources, technical and systems development knowledge. The second research question compared the key IS issues identified in this study with previous Australian and international studies. The main finding in the Australian comparison showed that most issues stayed the same or increased in importance with previous surveys. The only issue that decreased in importance was Software Development. The comparison with international surveys was beset with the problem of comparing issues. The main finding here showed the difficulty in comparing findings in surveys that have constantly changing issue lists. The third research question identified any emerging trends in information systems. Four new trends highlighted by the IS respondents were: managing Information Technology (IT) cost, the year 2000 problem, aligning IT to business now and in the future, and IS customer service considerations. The fourth research question explored any effect that industry group, IS department size or IS respondent level had on the perception of key IS issues. Most of the key IS issues were not affected by the respondents' industry group, department size or IS level. The only issues that showed significant differences were Software Development for the mining & petroleum industry group and Executive Support Systems (ESS) & Decision Support Systems (DSS) for medium sized IS departments. The other major finding showed that no differences existed for IS respondent levels.

Additional Information

Master of Business Computing

Item type Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0806 Information Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords Information systems, management, issues, business, research, information technologies, Australia
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