*SIM Paper Competition:* Building Change-Readiness Capabilities in the IS Organization: Insights From the Bell Atlantic Experience

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Abstract

Change-readiness is the ability of an information systems (IS) organization to deliver strategic IT applications within short development cycle times by utilizing a highly skilled internal IS workforce. This paper examines two important questions: What are the design elements of a change-ready IS organization? How can transformations to such designs be effectively managed? Insights to these questions are generated through a case study of the conceptualization and implementation of an innovative organization design within a large IS unit at Bell Atlantic, a Regional Bell Operating Company. First, a rich description is provided of the components (strategy, structure, processes, people skills, reward systems) of a centers of excellence (CoE) design that has yielded measurable gains in IS performance. Then, an analysis of the two-year implementation of this CoE design is provided in terms of anticipated and unanticipated change actions, as well as a summary of "lessons learned." The conclusion describes the design as a model worthy of consideration by other IS managers for developing change-readiness IT capabilities. Comparisons with other models for the IS organization are then drawn.

Additional Details

Author Charles E. Clark, Nancy C. Cavanaugh, Carol V. Brown, and V. Sambamurthy
Year 1997
Volume 21
Issue 4
Keywords Structure of the IS function, issues in organizing IS, IS staffing
Page Numbers 425-455