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Bottom-Up Enterprise Information Systems: Rethinking the Roles of Central IT Departments

Bottom-Up Enterprise Information Systems, illustration

Cross-functional, enterprise, and infrastructure systems integrate information across an organization for use by multiple stakeholders.14,22 Development or configuration of these large, multimillion-dollar projects is normally overseen by top management in conjunction with the central information technology (IT) department.21 There is, however, an increasing number of such systems arising from functional areas or departments in which users work, with central IT and top management being challenged to implement controls on these systems only after they go live.13

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Consider the following examples based on interviews conducted in recent years. Half were with chief information officers (CIOs). The other half were with their end users. Our aim was to understand the factors leading to bottom-up enterprise information systems. The first example is from a mid-size hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, where doctors had contracted with a paging service. In the second, university faculty adopted the Moodle learning-management system instead of their locally supported system.


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