producing the package?
˲ ˲ How many companies are already
using the package?
˲ ˲How many software companies
can configure the package?
˲ ˲ What is the history of the package?
˲ ˲ Is the package built upon open
˲ ˲ How is the fit with other packages?
˲ ˲ What kind of standardization does
the package represent?
˲ ˲ Is customization of the package
˲ ˲ Is there an accessible knowledge
base for the implementation and exploitation of the package?
˲ ˲ What are the costs of switching to
an alternative package?
˲ ˲ What are the implications of postponing a decision to adopt?
In what direction is the package
evolving? And is our company headed
the same way?
The principles can be used prior to
making an investment and be used to
monitor the vitality of existing packages. To illustrate, when a university built
a new campus building it came with a
free proprietary facility management
system with the new building already
encoded. However, using the seven
principles, the university management
decided that even though the package
itself was free of charge, the supporting
network around the package was too
local and too small for the university to
invest in encoding the remainder of its
buildings into the package.
Another example of the application
of the principles was the company in
the field study mentioned earlier. The
company used the principles to annu-
ally monitor the decision to stay with
a package that had been dominant but
was losing market share. The question
was straightforward: Was the network
of users around the software package
sufficiently large to provide the pack-
age owner with revenue that allowed
it to invest in developing the package?
For a number of years the answer was
positive, but when the network was
deemed inadequate, it was decided to
switch to the dominant package. 17 An
illustration of Principle Five and Six is
as follows: One large manufacturer had
already implemented one ERP system
when a vendor offered a competing
ERP system at a very competitive price.
The manufacturer attempted to switch
but after more than a year of attempt-
ing to implement the new ERP system
the manufacturer had to revert to its old
ERP system. The skill set and knowl-
edge base built around the former ERP
system in practice inhibited a switch.
this research was in part supported by the danish
research Foundation, grant number 331958.
1. adam, a. and light, b. selling packaged software: an
ethical analysis. In Proceedings of the 12th European
Conference on Information Systems. (turku, Finland,
2. attewell, P. technology diffusion and organizational
learning: the case of business computing. Organization
Science 3, 1 (1992), 1–19.
3. au, y.a. and Kauffman, r.J. should we wait? network
externalities and electronic billing adoption. Hawaii
International Conference on System Sciences. (Hawaii,
4. bailey, J., McKnight, l., and bosco, P. the economics
of advanced services in an open communications
infrastructure: transaction costs, production costs, and
network externalities. Information Infrastructure and
Policy 4 (1995), 255–277.
5. beatty, r.C. and Williams, C.d. erP II: best practices
for successfully implementing an erP upgrade.
Commun. ACM 49 (Mar. 2006), 105–109.
6. besen, s. M. and Farrell, J. Choosing how to compete:
strategies and tactics in standardization. Journal of
Economic Perspectives 8, 2 (1994), 117–131.
7. Chapman, M.r. In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of
High-Tech Marketing Disasters. apress, berkeley, Ca,
8. Chiasson, M. W. and Green, l. W. Questioning the It
artefact: user practices that can, could, and cannot be
supported in packaged-software designs. European
Journal of Information Systems 16, 5 (2007), 542–554.
9. damsgaard, J. and lyytinen, K. the role of
intermediating institutions in diffusion of electronic
data interchange: How industry associations in the
grocery sector intervened in Hong Kong, Finland,
and denmark. The Information Society 17, 3 (2001),
10. david, J.s., schuff, d., and louis, r.s. Managing your
total It cost of ownership. Commun. ACM 45, 1 (2002),
11. david, P.a. Clio and the economics of Qwerty. The
American Economic Review 75, 2 (1985), 332–337.
12. david, P.a. narrow Windows, blind Giants, and
angry orphans: the dynamics of systems rivalries
and dilemmas of technology Policy. technological
Innovation Project (no. 10), stanford university, Ca,
13. david, P.a., and bunn, J.a. the economics of Gateway
technologies and network evolution: lessons from
electricity supply history. Information Economics and
Policy 3 (1988), 165–202.
Jan Damsgaard ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is director and a
professor at the Center for applied ICt, Copenhagen
business school, denmark school of Information
systems, Curtin university of technology, australia.
Jan Karlsbjerg ( email@example.com) is an associate
product manager at active Community solutions,