Enterprise Systems and Organizational Issues in IS


This paper is about the relationship between an organization’s software portfolio architecture and its ability to make changesto it. Responding to business and technology changes often involves modifying the software portfolio and the speed and costof making changes to the software portfolio is a measure of the system’s flexibility. The specific research question is: “Howdoes software portfolio architecture affect software portfolio flexibility?”This research develops measures of architectural and component complexity and hypothesizes that these constructs affect onedimension of software portfolio flexibility: architectural flexibility. The hypotheses are tested by (1) collecting componentand dependency data from a biopharmaceutical company’s software portfolio, (2) combining this data with survey, systeminstrumentation, and archive data, and then (3) estimating and interpreting multiple regression models. The generalconclusions from the research are that both complexity at the component level and complexity at the architectural level affectsoftware portfolio flexibility.