Strategic Information System Planning: A Comprehensive Study

Importance of SISP in Corporate Business Initiative

SISP or Strategic Information System Planning is a corporate business initiative, aimed to provide a competitive advantage to the business (Altameen, Aldrees and Alsaeed 2014). It focuses on a specific segment of the market, and can be innovative.

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The purpose of the essay is to study the learning curve, and implementation of knowledge, and show progression on the learning goals. The essay revolves around the topic/market selected for assignment 1- Business and Information Technology. It entails a 12 week journal, highlighting the journey of gaining and application of knowledge of research paradigm, on a weekly basis. Reflection and comparison between the gained theoretical knowledge and its practical applications forms the core of the essay.

Week one: Factors that makes up for a good research proposal, importance of journals, and their ranking, selection of a research topic, searching for research articles relevant to the chosen topic, and referencing the information from verified and reliable source (Vithal and Jensen 2012). Good research proposal needs to be backed up with relevant and recent research journals and scholarly articles. Journals can be considered based upon their rankings, which adds credibility of the source. Referencing allows scope of further learning, in addition to the provision for a theoretical background and perspective (Sekaran and Bougie 2016). Often related researches can pave way for new studies, and thus be an effective tool to expand the knowledge base.

Week two: Selection of research topic (Bell 2014). In alignment to the assignment one, it is pertinent to select a relevant research topic that is of interest. A proper selection of the research topic is of utmost importance, as that can determine the amount of dedication and interest the topic can inherently foster. For example Business and IT, chosen in assignment one, is relevant to professionals in the field of Information Systems and Technology. Domains like information security and management can easily fit within this framework.

Week three: An effective review of literature is one that includes recent knowledge that includes substantial findings, and contributions (theoretical and methodological) on a given topic (Ridley 2012). It allows a comparative analysis of a theory, thereby facilitating its implementation. It also allows identification of any gaps or shortcoming in the proposed theory. Collaboration of the results from different correlated literatures can help to bridge those gaps, and a comprehensive knowledge base can be built upon it.

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Week Four: Compliance with the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) framework for Research Ethics (Bryman 2015). This ensures that the research undertaken fulfill the following criterion: maximizing benefits while minimizing risk and harm to individuals and society, respect to rights and dignity (for individuals or groups), enabling voluntary and fully consented participation, integrity and transparency of research, a clear demarcation of responsibility and accountability, maintaining independence of research, while conflict of interest (if applicable), be made explicit. This allows research to be ethical, and prevents exploitation of resources, misuse of information and enhances the validity.

Effective Implementation of SISP

Week Five: SISP incorporates a degree of maturity, in planning business strategies (Oliviera and Kaminski 2012). Maturity literally is the degree of competence in business skills (Foss and Knudsen 2013). It is imperative therefore for implementing mature decisions in business planning. This allows a foresight, and a failsafe, both necessary for the long term prospect and growth. The application of mature decisions in the market of Information Technology can be in the form of technological expertise. Usage of feasible and effective technology that can address the current and future technical needs. For example, planning an upgrade of network security protocols, that can be both backward compatible, as well as provisioned for future upgrades.

Week Six: A better equipped SISP team can formulate better SISP objectives. Since SISP involves a multi-dimensional approach, a team of professionals with expertise in each dimension is imperative. To build a successful SISP team the following needs to be considered: relevant experience, cross domain knowledge, and current market trends. For example, an SISP team containing experts in the fields of IT, Sales, HR, R&D, and Management can effectively formulate better framework, than a team with experts from a single domain.

Week seven: Qualitative and Quantitative research (Liamputtong 2013). A Strategic Information Systems Planning Assessment and Measurement in Australian organizations shows that it is important to measure the variables, to control them. For example, the threat of cyber hacking needs to be measured. This can be achieved by analyzing gaps in the network security, and the security protocols. Strict audit systems can be implemented to notify the administrator of any breaches, or non-compliances towards network safety protocols.

Week eight: Formulating the proper questionnaire/interview as the basis of choosing the members of SISP team. It is pertinent, the questionnaire be thorough, holistic and properly examines the skill sets of the member. Factors like experience, qualification (primary, secondary or tertiary), and the industry type, and location, turnover of the company, employee strength, investment structure, dependencies and variables. A thorough questionnaire allows better reflection on the individual skill sets of the members, their aptitude and motivations.

Week nine: Relevance of the sampling type and method reliability, validity and ethnography of the sample (Levy and Lemeshow 2013). The applicants need to be a reliable source, providing valid information and the ethnographic background are clearly defined. The relevance of the study only becomes apparent, when these factors are in alignment to the business needs. Also, the sampling method determines how the interviews are conducted. For example, snowball sampling can allow initiation of the study with only a handful of applicants, from whom, more references can be obtained (Emersion 2015). The referencing also ensures validity and reliability, since the initial set of applicants is already considered qualified in those parameters.

Components of a Good Research Proposal

Week ten: Importance of Focus group, differentiating wrong interview from right one, and an analysis of the interview. A focus group allows a focused study in a specific domain. Focus group can have professionals from a certain expertise, like Cyber Security or database administration. These groups can provide an in depth knowledge of the current, past, and even possible future issues in the respective fields. It is therefore important to tailor the questionnaire to fit the given focus group. For example, a questionnaire intended for Human Resource domain, have limited or no relevance in the domain of Information Systems and Technology. That is why the right kind of interview should be conducted.

Week eleven: Interview analysis and consolidation. The information that can be extracted from the interview sessions needs to be consolidated in a form that is relevant to each domain. Structuring of the information, based on strengths and weaknesses or in a hierarchy can be implemented. It allows easier comprehension and overview of the data, and therefore can ease the process of make decision making.

Week twelve: Assimilation and analysis of the information, and decision making. Only with a complete set of relevant information would the process of decision making be relevant (Ott and Longnecker 2015). Assimilation of information can be followed by a representation of data. The representation can be graphical, statistical, textual, tabular, or a combination of one or more of these. For example, pie diagram can show values, in the form of the contribution of each factor towards to total value.

The twelve week study provides a comprehensive knowledge on the factors that make up a good research proposal. It highlights the importance of selecting appropriate and relevant research topic, in alignment to the interest and expertise of the researcher. Compliance to ethical research protocols. Developing maturity in the implementation of the knowledge gathered from the research. Selection of a qualified team for research (like SISP). Importance of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data gathered, for a thorough understanding. Formulating proper questionnaires for interview, that is relevant to the research topic. Verification of the reliability of information gathered from interview, so that it can be seamlessly integrated with the set objectives. Having a relevant focus group for the study. Analysis and consolidation of the information gathered from the interview. Assimilating the gathered data followed by its proper and meaningful representation. It is therefore safe to suggest, that any business strategy adherent to the said protocols can give a better relevance and success rate owing to its reliability and accountability.

Reference:

Altameem, A.A., Aldrees, A.I. and Alsaeed, N.A., 2014, October. Strategic information systems planning (SISP). In Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science (Vol. 1).

Bell, J., 2014. Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Bryman, A., 2015. Social research methods. Oxford university press.

de Oliveira, A.C. and Kaminski, P.C., 2012. A reference model to determine the degree of maturity in the product development process of industrial SMEs. Technovation, 32(12), pp.671-680.

Emerson, R.W., 2015. Convenience sampling, random sampling, and snowball sampling: How does sampling affect the validity of research?. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (Online), 109(2), p.164.         

Foss, N.J. and Knudsen, C. eds., 2013. Towards a competence theory of the firm (Vol. 2). Routledge.

Levy, P.S. and Lemeshow, S., 2013. Sampling of populations: methods and applications. John Wiley & Sons.

Liamputtong, P., 2013. Qualitative research methods.

Ott, R.L. and Longnecker, M.T., 2015. An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis. Nelson Education.

Ridley, D., 2012. The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. Sage.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Vithal, R. and Jansen, J., 2012. Designing your first research proposal: a manual for researchers in education and the social sciences. Juta and Company Ltd.