This article investigates fast growing and successful small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We focus particularly on the role and relevance of information systems (IS) skills and knowledge for their success. Although many theories account for the relationship between IS and organizational performance, they target mostly the context of large corporations, thus overlooking the special conditions that fast growing SMEs face. We specifically investigate fast growing SMEs for the following reasons: these companies are subject to constant organizational change due to their continuous growth and thus rely critically on having the right IS setup and strategy, while at the same time they are often too small and specialized for out-of-the-box enterprise IS solutions. Based on an interpretive multiple-case study design, we present three generic, archetypal IS strategies, ranging from full identification with and capitalization on IS to complete cost-based outsourcing of all IS related services. We analyze the inherent chances and risks associated with each of these strategies and present anecdotal evidence from the case companies to illustrate our findings.
Obwegeser, Nikolaus; De Araújo Burcharth, Ana Luiza; and Carugati, Andrea, "The Value of IT: Explaining the Strategic Role of Information Systems for Fast Growing SMES" (2015). MCIS 2015 Proceedings. 37.