*SIM Paper Competition:* Assessing the Value of Conoco's EIS
Corporate-wide efforts to eliminate unnecessary expenses prompted Conoco’s decision to assess the benefits and costs of its executive information system (EIS). Because there was no accepted methodology for doing this, one was developed and successfully used. First, system usage statistics were collected in order to identify which applications were being used in each department, who was using them, and how often. Key users were then interviewed to further support the assessment of the tangible and intangible benefits derived from the EIS. The benefits included improved productivity, improved decision making, information distribution cost savings, services replacement cost savings, and software replacement cost savings. The costs included the direct costs of maintaining the EIS and the indirect costs absorbed by the operating groups who provide personnel to perform EIS-related tasks. Benefits were found to exceed the system’s costs; low value applications that should be eliminated were identified, as were applications that needed to be added or enhanced. A number of lessons were learned that are generalizable to other organizations. The successful assessment of the benefits of Conoco’s EIS raises the hopes that other types of applications with “soft” benefits might be better quantified.
|Author||Lloyd W. Belcher and Hugh J. Watson|
|Keywords||Executive information systems, executive support systems, system evaluation, cost benefit analysis|