Since the mid-and late 80's, business process improvement (BPI) has become one of the leading methodologies to deliver corporations with high quality products and services. Businesses are seeking not simply to automate existing operations, but to improve and redesign business processes and capture customers' expectations for products, and service delivery. Extensive communication and inter-connectivity arising from adoption of standards and integrated services digital networks (ISDN) has become a major force affectingbusinesses in fundamental ways (Madnick, 1990; Boar, 1993). The second avenue through which businesses are identifying new opportunities is the availability of databases (Madnick, 1990). By linking inter-organizational, inter-functional, and inter-personal levels of the processes through IS networks, businesses are not only automating their activities, they are also reshaping and improving their business processes (Hammer and Champy, 1993). By accessing enterprise-wise information from databases, IS integration is providing numerous opportunities to coordinate organizational activities by facilitating communication and information exchange across departments without the need to go up and down the vertical chain of command. The use of information networks to access relevant information from databases has been of enormous importance to eliminate duplicate activities, prevent errors from occurring, cycle time reduction in product development, and customer responsiveness (Davenport, 1993). The need of a well planned database management system is one of the important requirements for BPI. In most organizations, data architecture has evolved as a result of applications databases in various departments rather than as a well planned data management strategy. Therefore, the resolution of data management problems becomes quite difficult (Goodhue, Quillard, and Rockart, 1988). The access to timely, accurate and consistent information is crucial in business process improvement. IS integration, through communication networks and database systems, enables organizations to create and sustain process improvement through timely retrieval of consistent and accurate information. Process improvement can be measured by the extent desired specified results are produced right thefirst time (i.e., outcomes with zero defect), the extent various processes minimize the consumption of the business resources, and the extent business processes are easily modified to meet or exceed customers' expectations for products and service delivery. The current study is aimed at developing and empirically testing the relationships between IS integration and BPI. As presently there are only a handful studies that empirically test the relationship between information systems and BPI, this study is an important step for furthering the scope of present stage of the IS literature.
Bhatt, Ganesh D., "Enterprise Information Systems Integration and Business Process Improvement Initiative: An Empirical Study" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 81.