IT Strategy and Management


An information system (I/S) is generally considered flexible when it can be modified easily to align with changingrequirements of the business. Flexibility is crucial to survive in a hypercompetitive environment. Considering acomprehensive conceptual framework of I/S flexibility enablers, a research question was addressed: Are all the enablers inthe framework always essential for achieving I/S flexibility? Research results on enterprise flexibility and manufacturingflexibility indicate that different types of flexibility should be considered according to the category of strategic uncertainty tobe faced. Based on previous work, four forms of I/S flexibility have been identified: operation, adaptation, extension andtransformation. An exploratory analysis was conducted on two case studies of flexible I/S that are closely linked to strategicdecisions in a fast-changing environment. The adaptation and extension flexibility forms have emerged as differentconfigurations of necessary enablers.