Organizations face increasing complexity in their Information Systems (IS), which have many different components and interactions. Standardization of IS seeks to reduce the variety of components and is expected to reduce IS complexity. From a static and structural perspective, this seems logical, but what are the effects of IS standardization if we consider the dynamic character of IS complexity? We analyze two comparable cases to examine the effects of IS standardization in reducing IS complexity. Our study shows that standardization within the infrastructure of the technology layer can be an effective intervention to reduce IS complexity. Yet, it can also cause new types of complexity. The findings suggest that the level of decoupling between the components of the system is important and that an incremental standardization approach supports the process of understanding the emergent behavior of (complex) systems during standardization.
Jochemsen, Erik; van den Hooff, Bart; Plomp, Marijn; Rezazade Mehrizi, Mohammad; and Derks, Lotte, "THE EFFECTS OF STANDARDIZATION ON IS ARCHITECTURE COMPLEXITY" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research Papers. 102.
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