Modern business organisations are increasingly concerned with developing, and subsequently maintaining, competitive advantage. To support this, business organisations are seeking to establish strategic partnerships with their customers, suppliers, and distributors. Implicit in such partnerships is the need to effectively employ information technology to support the timely exchange of salient information across the different organisational boundaries of the partners. Systems which support this type of information exchange are referred to as Interorganisational Systems (IOS). This is reflected in a common definition of IOS which notes that they are "information systems which allow companies to share data and software with trading partners across organisational boundaries" (Holland et al., 1994).The importance of IOS is likely to increase as more and more organisations realise and exploit the potential of current information technology to support their dealings with customers, suppliers and distributors. Future developments in information technology -such as improvements in networking -are also likely to offer further potential for competitive advantage through IOS. It would seem important, then, that the processof IOS development is well understood so that effective systems can be achieved. Yet, this does not seem to be the case, with only limited discussion of IOS development issues being represented in the literature. Instead, most IOS research tends to concentrate on the effects of strategic, organisational and environmental issues associated with IOS implementation in organisations. IOS development issues that have been reported include proposed guidance (Konsynski, 1992) as to what to take into account when designing IOS for businesses. This research suggests that concentration on purely transaction interchange types such as EDI could often lead to little more than 'speeding up the mess'.Other research has considered how IOS could be used as an opportunity to rationalise business processes, not just in one organisation but across many organisations (Clark and Stoddard, 1996). The diversity of the little research that is reported needs to be considered closely and developed to provide a better understanding of the issues and needs in IOS development. It is important that IOS development is considered in terms of its unique nature, considering the challenges of development across potenitally diverse organisational boundaries. The appropriateness of traditional development models and methods of IS should be questioned and, at the very least, developed in an attempt to encompass issues raised by the context of IOS. It is against the background of the limitations of traditional IS methods for IOS development that this research is framed
Ramanath, Ana Maria; Paul, Ray J.; and Macredie, Robert, "The Role of the Software Life Cycle in theDevelopment of Interorganisational Systems" (1997). AMCIS 1997 Proceedings. 297.