The concepts of strategic flexibility and strategic agility have received much attention recently as businesses face increasingly uncertainandcompetitivemarkets(Hittetal.1998;Sanchez1997). However,formanyfirms,existingITassetsandcapabilities pose a serious impediment to strategic agility. Some firms that have successfully implemented enterprise systems are now finding that these systems can be inflexible and difficult to change. Other recent work illustrates that specific choices about IT can enable or constrain a firm’s strategic abilities to respond to changes in the competitive marketplace (Sambamurthy 2000; Weill et al. 2002). If indeed strategic flexibility and agility have become critical imperatives for businesses, then a critical question for IS researchers and practitioners is what can be done to better position IT to enable strategic agility? This panel session proposes to examine the implications of the strategic agility and flexibility imperatives for the IS discipline from four critical perspectives: conceptual models of IS and strategic enablement, IT architecture, IS development, and IT governance. Our rationale is that these comprise four key domains that impact IT use within business organizations, specifically how we think about the role of IT in business, how we design and manage core IT infrastructure and architecture, how new IS applications are developed and implemented, and the allocation of roles and responsibilities for managing IT resources and capabilities. The panelists will argue that significant rethinking and new insights are required to guide IS practice in satisfying the demands for business flexibility and agility, and that future research is needed to identify ways in which IT can be managed to provide these outcomes.
Mooney, John; Beath, Cynthia; Fitzgerald, Guy; Ross, Jeanne; and Weill, Peter, "Managing Information Technology for Strategic Flexibility and Agility: Rethinking Conceptual Models, Architecture, Development, and Governance" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 99.