The influence of the external environment on ICT use, management and exploitation by firms has been widely recognized and researched for long time. However, quite limited research has been conducted on the impact of one of the most serious disruptions that repeatedly occur in firms external environment, the economic crises of various intensities and durations, which cause economic recession and sharp, rapid and strong decrease of the demand for products and services, and have quite negative short- medium- and long-term consequences. Our study contributes to filling this important research gap, by analysing the behaviour of the core ‘system-relevant’ Greek banks with respect to their ICT activity in the first years 2010-2014 of the severe Greek economic crisis, examining a wide range of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of their ICT activity concerning important ICT resources and capabilities as well as ICT plans. For this purpose, we have adopted a mixed methodology, including a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques (interviews with ICT General Directors of the above banks combined with questionnaire filling). It has been concluded that the main priority of core Greek banks in the economic crisis with respect to their ICT activities has been the rationalization of their ICT processes/practices and improvement of their ICT capabilities, especially their ICT strategic alignment capability, to a large extent, followed by the reduction of their ICT-related expenses, mainly for ICT personnel payroll, and for investments in new ICT technological resources (new hardware and software), and the adaptation of their ICT plans to the crisis conditions, both to a moderate to large extent. Our findings enable a better understanding of the impact of economic crisis on important ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of ICT activity, concerning important ICT resources and capabilities, as well as ICT plans, in a highly important and ‘information-intensive’ sector, which has been historically a heavy and experienced user of ICT. Furthermore, our findings reveal interesting multi-dimensional patterns of ICT behaviour /management (concerning a wide range of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of ICT activity) in economic crisis, which might be of wider interest and usefulness to firms for managing ICT in such difficult recession times.
Loukis, Euripidis N.; Arvanitis, Spyros; and Myrtidis, Dionysis, "AN ANALYSIS OF ICT ACTIVITY BEHAVIOR OF GREEK BANKS IN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS" (2019). MCIS 2019 Proceedings. 17.