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Mastering Business Complexity—MIT CISR Survey Results

Title Author(s) Type Topic(s) Comments Date
Mastering Business Complexity—MIT CISR Survey ResultsMocker, Martin
Ross, Jeanne W.
Kosgi, Karthic
Working PaperBusiness Complexity02016-02-12
Abstract: The MIT Center for Information Systems Research surveyed 255 executives in 2015 to investigate how companies are managing business complexity. This report details the findings from our analysis of the survey data: (1) Some product complexity adds value, some does not. Specifically, companies with more links (aka integration) in their product and service portfolio are higher performing. (2) Product variety makes it more difficult for customers and employees to get things done. These customer and employee difficulties impair a company’s performance. (3) Companies that excel at making it easy for employees and customers to get things done differentiate themselves by applying a set of complexity management practices around enterprise architecture, role reconfiguration, and the use of metrics and incentive systems. Based on these findings, we recommend that companies make product complexity a strategic choice, invest in the abovementioned complexity management practices, and use customer and employee difficulties as key metrics for product innovation.

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