The six stages of IS growth is: 1. Initiation. When computers are initially introduced to the organization, batch processing is used to automate clerical operations in order to achieve cost reduction. There is an operational systems focus, lack of management interest, and a centralized information systems department (ISD). 2. Expansion (Contagion). Centralized rapid growth takes place as users demand more applications based on high expectations of benefits. There is a move to online systems as ISD tries to satisfy all user demands and little, if any, control. IT expenses increase rapidly. 3. Control. In response to management concern about cost versus benefits, systems projects are expected to show a return, plans are produced, and methodologies/ standards are enforced. The control stage often produces a backlog of applications and dissatisfied users. Planning and controls are introduced. 4. Integration. There is considerable expenditure on integrating (via telecommunications and databases) existing systems. User accountability for systems is established, and ISD provides a service to users, not just solutions to problems. At this time there is a transition in computer use and an approach from data processing to information and knowledge processing (transition between the two curves). 5. Data administration. Information requirements rather than processing drive the applications portfolio, and information is shared within the organization. Database capability is exploited as users understand the value of the information and are willing to share it. 6. Maturity. The planning and development of IT in the organization are closely coordinated with business development. Corporate wide systems are in place. The ISD and the users share accountability regarding the allocation of computing resources. IT has truly become a strategic partner.
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