The role of business informatics in business transformation : a case of a company in Cape Town
The objective of the thesis is to determine the role Business Informatics plays in transforming an organisation using a selected organisation in Cape Town as a case study. Business informatics is an emerging discipline that combines various aspects of business management, information technology and informatics. Informatics is broadly defined as the science of processing information; thus, increasingly, it involves processing and analysing information digitally with the aid of computers. Therefore the aim of the research was to understand what components of business informatics are being leveraged to transform businesses, and the challenges thereof. This was done using a social theory – duality of technology from Orlikowski adapted from Giddens’ Structuration Theory (ST) as a theoretical framework, particularly, the dimensions of duality of structure. The theory was used as a lens to understand and interpret this social phenomenon - the role business informatics can play in business transformation. It is argued that business informatics concepts are able to assist in business transformation through effective use of information systems and business management concepts. In that regard, ERP system in a Cloud platform was recommended to illustrate these concepts. The concepts helped to device guidelines for determining the challenges of a business to use informatics to transform and become sustainable and competitive. Therefore, the research explained and recommended why business entities have begun to move from an application-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to cloud computing-based ERP (cloud-ERP) system. The study used the interpretive approach where qualitative philosophy was applied together with the underpinning theory and literature reviewed to design a semi-structured interview schedule as a data collection instrument. It was a case study of an Organisation where the units of analysis were the IT, Finance, HR and Sales and Marketing departments and object of analysis was 50 employees. The output is a general framework to guide businesses as to how to apply the concepts of business informatics to achieve improved business transformation.