Understanding the organizational impact of integrated IT application infrastructure through agility
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This dissertation examines how and why integrated IT application infrastructures, such as ERP infrastructure, impact firms' competitive agility. In this research, we make a distinction between a company’s overall business agility and information systems agility, or the ability to change information systems to support business agility. Based on literature review and an exploratory study that involves 9 phone interviews with 7 US based large companies, we identified six key characteristics of integrated IT application infrastructure that may contribute to information systems agility, and therefore business agility. These six factors are: data integration, process integration, built-in flexibility, availability of “add-on” software applications, availability of internal IT staff skills, and availability of prior specific consultant knowledge. A questionnaire was designed to test the research model. Data analyses of the survey responses from 131 US firms across a mix of industries suggest that process integration, availability of “add-on” software applications, and availability of internal IT staff skills are important factors that contribute to business agility.