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Options Analysis of Software Platform Decisions: A Case Study

Alfred Taudes, Markus Feurstein and Andreas Mild
MIS Quarterly
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 227-243
DOI: 10.2307/3250937
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3250937
Page Count: 17
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Options Analysis of Software Platform Decisions: A Case Study
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Abstract

In recent years, the use of option pricing models to support IT investment decisions has been proposed in the MIS literature. In this paper, we discuss the practical advantages of such techniques for the selection of a software platform. First, we argue that traditional quantitative approaches to a cost-benefit analysis give only a partial picture of such decision situations: due to the long planning horizon required because of the time-consuming and resource-intensive implementation process, it is not possible to exactly predict which applications will, in fact, run on the system over time. Thus, the investor is faced with the problem of valuing "implementation opportunities." We then compare different valuation techniques for this task and discuss their respective advantages and drawbacks. The practical advantages of employing such models are demonstrated by describing a real-life case study where option pricing models were used for deciding whether to continue employing SAP R/2 or to switch to SAP R/3.

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