Revealing Cost Drivers for Systems Integration and Interoperability Through Q Methodology
Organizations are increasingly seeking to enhance performance and efficiency and establish new capabilities by integrating previously developed software systems. As organizations undertake the integration of multiple software systems, they often have little idea of how much it will cost or how long it will take. Little research has been performed to date on how cost drivers for integration differ from traditional single-system initiatives. This paper outlines a major research effort undertaken by the DOD, SEI and UNC to identify the non-SLOC based cost drivers of systems integration and interoperability. The paper then turns to a discussion of the potential role that “operant subjectivity” analysis may provide for expanding our understanding of the latent cost drivers that are often associated with integration and interoperability. We then illustrate the results of a study of public sector CIO’s where Q Methodology was employed to isolate the system needs of local government agencies. The findings suggest that Q Methodology may prove helpful in isolating many of the non-technical latent cost factors associated with system integration and interoperability.