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Enterprise information systems: technology first or process first?

Arif, Mohammed, Kulonda, D, Jones, J and Proctor, M 2005, 'Enterprise information systems: technology first or process first?' , Business Process Management Journal, 11 (1) , pp. 5-21.

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Purpose – Enterprise resource planning (ERP), a technological approach for enterprise information systems, has many recorded case examples of lengthy and expensive implementations reported in literature. This research has uncovered an alternative process-driven and document-based approach that may offer a simpler and more flexible solution compared with technology-driven ERP. This paper investigates the differences and similarities of the two approaches, and also answers a related question: Is the enterprise system implementation an information systems effort performed to support the business processes, or is it a process re-engineering effort required to implement the pre-packaged software system? Design/methodology/approach – To investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches to an enterprise information system, this research developed a unified modeling language (UML) process model of a manufactured housing company and used it as a basis for a conceptual level UML model for both an ERP- and a document-based system. Findings – In a designed experiment with UML-fluent analysts, the process-driven document solution to an enterprise information system was shown to be smaller, less complex and more flexible than an ERP solution at the conceptual design level. Practical implications – Software specifications for the resulting document-based system included only standard COTS software packages easily usable in companies of any size. Further, the potential for prototype as-you-go development offers opportunities for continuous refinement of the system in contrast with the episodic implementation of packaged ERP systems. Originality/value – This alternative system highlights the desirability, for both academicians and practitioners, of concentrating on processes and then implementing the most suitable technology, rather than allowing the technology to impose constraints on processes.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools
Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Journal or Publication Title: Business Process Management Journal
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1463-7154
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: M Arif
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2015 14:59
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2015 00:01

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