Original Research

Post-implementation evaluation and challenges of Integrated Financial Management Information Systems for municipalities in South Africa

Nozibele Gcora, Wallace Chigona
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1066 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1066 | © 2019 Nozibele Gcora, Wallace Chigona | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 December 2018 | Published: 20 November 2019

About the author(s)

Nozibele Gcora, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Wallace Chigona, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Municipalities in South Africa are currently grappling with the introduction of Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) to improve financial management. Integrated Financial Management Information Systems have been found to be an important tool for economic growth and development by ensuring that municipalities have appropriate management of public resources with the goal of enhancing service delivery to the citizens. Integrated Financial Management Information Systems have been introduced in municipalities in South Africa; however, they have not widespread been used. Previous research mentions wide-range bottlenecks for the acceptance of new technology in government departments, among which are insufficient attention to change management process and acceptance by intended end-users.

Objective: This research study focused on the post-implementation evaluation of IFMIS in municipalities, as well as challenges affecting the implementation of IFMIS. The aim was to establish areas of improvement in the implementation of IFMIS.

Method: Three stages (unfreezing, change and refreezing) and eight steps for successful change management were used as theoretical background to investigate this study. The study employed a qualitative approach and case study research strategy underpinned by the interpretivist philosophical paradigm. The study was performed in five municipalities of the Western Cape province, Republic of South Africa. Interviews were conducted using 16 end-users who were assigned to use IFMIS for work purposes; and specifically, three end-users were interviewed in each of the five municipalities. Deductive thematic analysis was used to analyse the factors affecting change management in the implementation of IFMIS.

Results: Findings show that the implementation of IFMIS in municipalities was a top-down approach that encompasses a linear process where systems were implemented by external vendors, and then introduced to end-users afterwards. The study revealed that end-users were not involved in the implementation, and also that there are challenges affecting system use because of non-involvement of end-users during system implementation.

Conclusion: Implementation should be a user-oriented process, thus resulting in resistance to systems use. End-users should be part of the implementation process and their recommendations should be incorporated in the implementation process because people are more likely to accept the forthcoming change if they know what to expect.


Keywords

Integrated Financial Management Information Systems; IFMIS; post-implementation; change management; municipalities; end-users.

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