Researching the investment of information technology in construction: An examination of evaluation practices
Business and Public Management
The inherent worth and value of information technology (IT) employed within a business setting have been meticulously defined and subsequently examined throughout the general business community. However, within the construction industry issues surrounding the IT investment process remain largely unexplored as exhibited by recent survey work in Australia, which concludes that many construction organizations have not measured the impact of their IT investments. To address this aforementioned deficiency, a questionnaire survey was undertaken to examine the approaches used by construction organizations to evaluate and justify their IT investments. The analysis of 126 responses revealed the following key findings: different types of organization significantly (p<0.05) differ in the amount they investment in IT; investment levels in IT were not influenced by organizational size; and the scope of purpose of ex-ante IT evaluation was considered broader than a financial control mechanism. Instead, the organizations sampled used ex-post evaluation as an opportunity for learning and thus regenerated knowledge. Based on these findings a pragmatic ex-ante IT evaluation framework is proposed which can be used by construction organizations to ameliorate their investment decision-making process.