On the use of IT investment assessment methods in the area of spatial data infrastructure
Divisions of PAS
One of the important issues concerning development of spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) is the carrying out of economic and financial analysis. It is essential to determine expenses and also assess effects resulting from the development and use of infrastructures. Costs and benefits assessment could be associated with assessment of the infrastructure effectiveness and efficiency as well as the infrastructure value, understood as the infrastructure impact on economic aspects of an organisational performance, both of an organisation which realises an SDI project and all users of the infrastructure. The aim of this paper is an overview of various assessment methods of investment as well as an analysis of different types of costs and benefits used for information technology (IT) projects. Based on the literature, the analysis of the examples of the use of these methods in the area of spatial data infrastructures is also presented. Furthermore, the issues of SDI projects and investments are outlined. The results of the analysis indicate usefulness of the financial methods from different fields of management in the area of SDI building, development and use. The author proposes, in addition to the financial methods, the adaptation of the various techniques used for IT investments and their development, taking into consideration the SDI specificity for the purpose of assessment of different types of costs and benefits and integration of financial aspects with non- financial ones. Among the challenges are identification and quantification of costs and benefits, as well as establishing measures which would fit the characteristics of the SDI project and artefacts resulting from the project realisation. Moreover, aspects of subjectivity and variability in time should be taken into account as the consequences of definite goals and policies as well as business context of organisation undertaking the project or using its artefacts and also investors.
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