IT Fitness for the 21st Century

This research project was aimed at developing an evaluation and benchmarking tool for assessing the IT fitness of business organisations at the turn of the millennium. For this purpose, we transferred the notion of a “fitness test” from a healthcare context to an IT context and developed a framework for assessing “IT fitness”. Based on the framework, we then designed two different questionnaires for CIOs and CEOs to assess the IT fitness of organizations from both a business and an IT perspective. The questionnaires were used to conduct pairwise interviews with both the CEO and the CIO from more than 1.000 medium-sized companies. The interview data were aggregated to a fitness profile of the organizations under investigation which, in turn, was benchmarked with total and industry averages. We also compiled an expertise that included a discussion of strength and weaknesses as well as recommendations for improving the organization’s overall IT fitness.

From an academic point of view, the data provided us with a detailed snapshot of IT use and management practices at the turn of the century. The data also revealed remarkable differences in the perception of CEOs and CIOs on what “good IT” is.