As business grow more and more interconnected and hence increasingly reliant on information technology (IT), there is the temptation to argue that careful planning of the information systems (IS) and IT resources in an organisation becomes even more imperative. However, an alternative view might suggest that in rapidly changing and turbulent environments, planning becomes somewhat of an anachronism, and that if flexibility is to be maintained ponderous planning activity should be avoided at all cost. The authors concur that formal, rationalistic, bureaucratic planning is probably in no-one’s best interests, but also argue that no planning is not necessarily an appropriate way forward. Instead they propose a new framework to support IS/IT planning in such interconnected environments or strategic business networks (SBNs). This framework seeks to avoid heavy, bureaucratic processes but argues that IS/IT adopts a role of such central importance, that instead, planning must become part of day-to-day thinking and acting with respect to the business and its use of IT. This thinking and acting must not only take place within the confines of a single organisation, but must as well, embrace the IS/IT inheritance and infrastructure of all organisations in the SBN. This is not simply a technological issue, but must include consideration of a range of organisational, cultural, and political issues. The framework must support the creation of shared vision and values, and an understanding of the use of IT for both self and mutual advantage.
Marshall, Peter and McKay, Judy, "Rethinking Information Systems Planning in Strategic Business Networks" (2000). AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. 273.