Understanding IT Costs: An exploratory Study using the Structured Case Method

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Management




Love, P., Irani, Z., & Fulford, R. (2003). Understanding IT Costs: an exploratory study using the structured case method. Proceedings of the 7th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, 45.


Many companies are increasing their expenditure on information and communication technologies (ICTs) to obtain or even sustain a competitive advantage in their respective marketplaces. However, managers are often left with the quandary of how to evaluate investments in such technologies. Reasons of this difficulty have been suggested in the normative literature as centring on the socio-technical (human and organisational) dimensions associated with the deployment of ICTs. The inability of managers to determine the true costs of deploying ICT are considered attributable to a lack of knowledge and understanding of ICT related costs. In developing a broader picture of such costs and their respective taxonomies, the research presented in this paper uses a structured case method, to gain an understanding of how a construction firm embraced the information technology (IT) evaluation process. A review of the IT cost literature is presented and a conceptual framework (CF) to examine IT related costs is proposed. Findings from the case study are presented and discussed in the context of the CF.

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