Corbel, P. et Denis, J.P. pour l’équipe MINE du Larequoi, Quelques jalons pour une nouvelle gouvernance des SI, rapport du programme MINE France, Cigref, décembre 2007, 85 p.
This report provides a synthesis of the main findings of the "MINE France" programme, conducted in conjunction with the international MINE programme led by Roger Miller and his team at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal. The aim of "MINE France" was to examine more particularly, through a series of case studies, the relationships between information systems (particularly in the sense of ICT investments), innovation and value creation.
We first present the main theoretical and methodological bases of our research (Chapter 1 . The research is mainly based on a series of semi-structured interviews (i.e. on the basis of pre-defined themes, but leaving a great deal of freedom to the interviewee) in several companies, four of which finally agreed to participate in this project. The theoretical foundations developed include the concepts of cost efficiency and efficacy through value creation, as well as Bernard de Montmorillon's concept of intangible investment, which have strongly contributed to the orientation of the following analyses.
The four case studies are first presented in an essentially descriptive mode (Chapter 2), but taking as a basis for structuring the three fundamental questions that our theoretical analysis led us to consider as crucial: which value-creating transactions are associated with the business model? What entrepreneurial issues underlie the business model to realise the value creation potential? What roles and uses should the IS be given as a result? We also develop the characteristics of the projects that were presented to us as particularly significant within the companies studied, and which served as the basis for the chapter on the conduct of IS-related projects. We show how these projects contributed to changing the company's business model, thus demonstrating that the impact of this type of project was far from being limited to the simple cost-efficiency that is often emphasised.
Chapter 3 develops more specifically the issues associated with project management. It shows, notably through a case study of a large French bank, how the need for coordination can be combined with a certain amount of autonomy left to the actors in the field and a certain amount of freedom to 'vary' around initial specification, We develop some of the implications for the specifications and the pace of development and deployment of this type of project. We also develop the consequences for evaluation by underlining the limits of predominantly financial evaluations and by insisting on the potential-creating nature of IS investments.
Chapter 4 outlines a typology of interactions between two types of value chain: the classic value chain, proposed by Michael Porter, centred on operational activities, and a value chain more focused on the creation and transformation of new knowledge into value. Our case studies show two types of possible interfacing between the two chains. The IS can not only contribute to the efficiency of each of them separately, but also (and perhaps above all) to a better functioning of the interfaces between them.
Chapter 5 shows how recent developments in management control in the academic world are likely to echo some of the concerns expressed by the managers interviewed for this research project. We insist on the need to think in terms of paradoxical tensions in order to be able to take into account simultaneously the logics of cost-efficiency and efficacy through value creation, as well as to master both present and preparation for the future, and control by results and control by values, etc. This leads to a thorough rethinking of the methods used to manage the different aspects of management control, and to an in-depth rethinking of the relationship between strategist and controller, two roles that a CIO is necessarily called upon to play, even if with a different mix from one company to another.
A summary of the main conclusions of the MINE France research programme is available (in French) in cahier de recherche du Cigref n°3, which can be dowloaded from theassociation website (see summary page).