How do you rate an information system

Economy of information systems


From an economic point of view, profitability describes the relationship between monetary quantifiable costs and the measured performance. The operation of information systems is considered economical if the income that can be realized from the use of a system within a certain observation period exceeds the expenses associated with the provision of the system. Basically, a distinction can be made between the cost-effectiveness of the provision and the cost-effectiveness of use of information systems.

Deployment efficiency usually describes the ratio of the service volumes (e.g. operating hours of the information system, number of transactions, processing service requests, etc.) provided by the system providing unit (e.g. internal IT department or external service provider) to the costs of the resources used for system deployment (personnel costs, rent , Electricity etc.). In contrast, the focus of economic efficiency is on the relationship between the benefits for the user or the company (e.g. less manual effort, better results, etc.) to the costs resulting from the procurement of IT services (e.g. depreciation, operating costs, software rental, etc.) .).
A practice-relevant method for determining or forecasting the profitability of information systems is the creation of an IT business case. This describes a scenario for the business assessment of the investment in information systems. The focus of the business case is the economic feasibility study, but non-monetary aspects such as strategic alignment and risk addressing are also evaluated. The core of every business case is the analysis model, which in turn consists of a cost and a benefit model. When recording costs, a distinction is made between internal (e.g. IT department workload) and external costs (e.g. software license costs) and between one-off (e.g. investment and implementation costs) and ongoing costs (e.g. maintenance contracts). Similarly, when recording benefits, a distinction is made between one-off (e.g. replacement of old systems) and ongoing benefit effects (e.g. time savings when processing tasks). The exact quantification of the benefit is a nontrivial task, as certain benefit dimensions (e.g. customer satisfaction) can only be assessed indirectly (e.g. costs for winning back a customer). In addition, an extremely differentiated consideration of the benefit dimension with regard to its payment effectiveness is required at this point.

Processes for calculating the return on investment of information systems determine the process-related potential of an IT investment on the basis of time, cost and quality-based indicators and compare them with the state before the investment.




Prof. Dr. Norbert Gronau, University of Potsdam, Chair for Information Systems and Electronic Government, August-Bebel-Strasse 89, 14482 Potsdam

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