African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4092

Full Length Research Paper

Exploring formal information technology evaluation practices in African firms

  Rennie Naidoo1* and Walter Palk2    
  1Department of Informatics, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and IT, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. 2IT Risk Advisory Services, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 11 October 2011
  •  Published: 23 November 2011



Despite its universal appeal, little has been done in the way of empirical research to probe into the role of formal information technology (IT) investment evaluation practices and its influence on IT governance and performance in African firms. A preliminary survey of 74 firms from South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, reveal that while firms are generally aware of formal IT investment appraisal techniques and IT value realisation prescriptions, relatively less formality is actually applied to appraising, managing and realising IT benefits. This research unveils many issues in exploiting IT benefits, with a majority of firms acknowledging substantial targeted benefits losses. Addressing how IT investments can be managed more effectively using formal investment appraisal and benefits management practices, to predictably realise intended payoffs remains a top concern for African firms and the continent’s IT researchers.


Key words: Information technology (IT), IT governance, IT investment appraisal, IT benefits management, IT performance.