Journal of Systems Integration, Vol 5, No 1 (2014)

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A System Thinking Model Proposal for Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) Evaluation Completeness

Irene Nakiyimba

Abstract


Research has identified a number of approaches for evaluating Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). The majority of these approaches focus primarily on the technical functional and non-functional capabil¬ities of an EAI solution. Although, where the technical dimensions have received considerable attention from researchers, other dimensions needed for EAI evaluation, such as stakeholder feedback, have not re¬ceived explicit consideration. As a result, attaining a consummate EAI solution is still a major challenge for many enterprises. The current EAI evaluation models simply provide piecemeal insights towards the evaluation criteria variables from limited stakeholder perceptions and do not help to understand EAI evaluation as a dynamic, feedback, time based and non-linear problem. Different stakeholders view the outcome of an EAI project from different perspectives and therefore will more likely than not arrive at different conclusions. To achieve a consensus among stakeholder perceptions, we represent EAI evaluation as a feedback analysis problem from multi-stakeholder perceptions for proper alignment with business goals, vision and mission. This paper proposes the application of System Dynamics (SD) model towards guiding policy analysis for evaluating criteria factors from multi-stakeholders perceptions for EAI adoption; this will provide for holistic evaluation where emphasis is the importance of evaluation as whole (not piece meal perceptions) and the interdependence of evaluation criteria factors from the diverse stakeholder perceptions is analyzed. In this paper we present a case-study performed at a large portion of the East African banking system. A total of 800 responses to questionnaires are analyzed to formulate a systems thinking model, which in turn allows us to analyze feedback loops between different stakeholders with distinct evaluation criteria. Findings result in a structured and holistic systems thinking model which identifies six groups of stakeholders with distinct evaluation criteria. The model is validated against literature and expert views. The case study findings contribute towards the general understanding of EAI evaluation dynamics. It provides EAI evaluation with a way to analyze feedback between different EAI evaluation criteria from diverse stakeholders.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20470/jsi.v5i1.182

ISSN: 1804-2724

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