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The information systems (IS) community promotes the idea that IS analyst should have a clear understanding of the way the organization operates before attempting to propose an IS solution. It is argued that to take a complete advantage of the underlying information technology (IT), organizations should first identify any process flaw and then propose a suitable IT solution. Similarly, many process design approaches claim that business process (BP) design should be done considering the advantages provided and the limitations imposed by the underlying (IT). Despite this fact research in these domains provides little indication of which mechanisms or tools can help BP and IS analyst to understand the complex relationships amongst these two areas. This paper describes the insights gained during a UK funded research project, namely ASSESS-IT that aimed to depict the dynamic relationships between IT and BP using simulation. One of the major limitations of the ASSESS-IT project is that it looked at relationship between BP and IT as a three layered structure, namely BP, IS and computer networks (CN), and did not explore in detail the relationships between BP and IS alone. This paper uses the outcomes derived from this project and suggests that, is some cases, the relationship between BP and IT could be analyzed by looking at the relationship between BP and IS alone. It then proposes an alternative simulation framework, namely BPISS, that provides the guideline to develop simulation models that portray BP and IS behavior performance measurements, offering in this way an alternative mechanism that can help BP and IS analyst to understand in more detail the dynamic interactions between BP and IS domains.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Jan. 2004