An empirical study of the relationships between IT infrastructure flexibility, mass customization, and business performance

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Computer Information Systems


Information technology (IT) infrastructure deserves serious attention from both the practitioner and academic communities, especially concerning the factors for IT infrastructure flexibility. The issue of flexibility is viewed as a critical aspect of IT infrastructure, because organizations are faced with an ever-increasing rate of change in their business environments. One effort most business sectors have made to prepare for this change is the trend toward mass customization. Recently, many organizations have embraced mass customization in an attempt to provide unique value to their customers in a cost-efficient manner. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate a sequential relationship between IT infrastructure flexibility, mass customization, and business performance. The process involves an investigation of the critical factors for IT infrastructure flexibility, along with the firm's mass customization and business performance indicators. The findings of this study provide evidence that integration and modularity of an organization's IT infrastructure facilitate the organization's effort to accommodate mass customization. Additionally, the flexibility of the IT personnel, the human component of IT infrastructure, and mass customization directly affect the organization's business performance. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]