Impact of IT investments on a company : towards an approach for managing the IT business value

Ever since information technology (IT) has been used in companies, research has been concerned with the IT business value, and in practice, too, the awareness that IT should deliver value to the company's success is increasingly being heeded. Due to current phenomena such as the increasing investment in IT in companies, the identification and assessment of the IT business value is becoming more important. Although research has proven that IT investments provide value for a company, the identification of impacts, which are a prerequisite for the assessment of the IT business value, is not considered in depth. Due to the lack of theoretical foundations, many companies struggle to identify and assess the business value of IT needed to address the phenomena of digitalization.

To address this problem, the thesis focuses on the impact of IT investments on the strategic level on the one hand and on the operational level in a company on the other hand. At a strategic level, it is considered to what extent a company's dynamic capabilities can be operationalized so that they can also be taken into account in the IT business value identification, something that has been insufficiently possible to date due to the multidimensional construct of dynamic capabilities and a lack of methods. As a result, it is now also possible to shape the strategic further development of the company's capabilities in a well-founded manner, as the impact of IT investments on dynamic capabilities can be determined. At an operational level, the volatility, the uncertainty, the complexity, and the ambiguity of IT investments make it difficult for researchers and especially practitioners to determine IT business value. These require appropriate management, which currently has no or only insufficient procedures to capture IT business value. To overcome the problem of missing procedures, we present an IT value framework to better capture the impacts of an IT investment in order to then be able to determine the IT business value from all identified company-specific impacts. In a further step, the procedure for creating a company-specific reference value catalog is presented in order to avoid having to start from scratch for every new IT investment. The results for identifying impacts then leads to an overarching management process to be able to manage the IT business value over the entire IT investment project lifecycle. We call the process value contribution controlling.

Overall, this thesis provides an in-depth understanding of IT business value and the procedure for identifying it. For IT (project) managers, the thesis offers insights to enable implementation in practice.


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