“Atos Consulting research reveals: Dutch managers find cooperating in chains and networks complex”

Utrecht, 30 July 2007

Organizations are busy undergoing an extensive ‘Business Transformation'. They are increasingly working together to innovate, optimize their business operations or enter new markets. From strategic client-supplier relationships and alliances to partnerships in networks, IT has a crucial role to play in cooperative ventures. But how to decide on which IT solution should be used, and how it should be implemented? In other words: “What does cooperation mean for IT governance?” Research performed by Atos Consulting's Trends Institute among CIOs and IT managers for major Dutch organizations reveals they are currently wrestling with these issues.

The study shows that the majority of cooperative ventures take place within the same branch or sector; cooperation across sectors is seen as difficult. Achieving greater efficiency is often given as the reason for cooperation, but market and product development are also mentioned frequently. Cooperative ventures (or ‘Extended Enterprises') are generally ‘information intensive'. This means choosing the right IT is of key importance.

The three most important conclusions drawn from the study are:

  1. Every form of cooperation entails ‘freedom in involvement'. Managers find it difficult to strike the right balance between the necessary involvement in the cooperative venture and the freedom required by the own organization.
  2. For many organizations, the growth of business transformation and the corresponding cooperation with other parties has had a major impact on how IT governance is organized. This is applies particularly to typical client-supplier relationships. Surprisingly, this is not the case in organizations that operate on a more egalitarian cooperative basis, such as alliances. Atos Consulting is of the opinion that this is because the successful coordination mechanisms are more informal and thus more subtle in nature.
  3. For equal parties, company politics often determine how IT decisions are made. In addition to company culture, equality, trust, stability and maturity of the cooperative venture determine the degree and manner in which IT governance is organized.
About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are EUR 5.4 billion and it employs 50,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Euronext Market Solutions, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

About Atos Consulting
Atos Consulting, the global consulting practice of Atos Origin, is a leading provider of business, process and technology consulting services. With more than 2,500 staff globally, it focuses on delivering proven, pragmatic solutions to the telecom, manufacturing, financial services and public sectors.

For more information:
Han van der Zee
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José de Vries
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