IT organizations use strategic IT benchmarking (SITBM) to revise IT strategies or perform internal marketing. Despite benchmarking’s long tradition, many SITBM initiatives do not reveal the desired outcomes. The vast body of knowledge on benchmarking and IT management does not help overcome the challenges of successful SITBM. In a recently published research project, we therefore synthesize existing research on IT management and benchmarking into a concept relationship map and derive future research avenues. We find that there is much literature on how to produce SITBM results. However, research does not explain how these results are transformed into outcome – essentially the problem many practitioners struggle with.
Concept Relationship Map for SITBM Success
Specifically, we found that traditional process models for benchmarking focus on hard methodological factors and tend to neglect the soft contextual ones. We addressed this gap by suggesting a concept relationship map that not only incorporates these hard factors into the benchmarking process, but also provides guidance on the effects of soft aspects. In doing so, we contribute to research and foster comprehensive understanding by synthesizing existing SITBM literature. Moreover, we provide a conceptual model of SITBM success and derive a set of propositions from it. We also shed light on the as-yet-unanswered question of how SITBM output is transformed into outcome. Together with future research weaving together the as yet incomplete nomological net we propose through our proposition, our work can thus lay the foundations for a theory of SITBM success.
Our research results have recently been accepted for publication:
Ebner, K., Urbach, N. and Müller, B. (2016) Exploring the Path to Success: A Review of the Strategic IT Benchmarking Literature, Information and Management (I&M), forthcoming.