Governance and Longevity of Architecturally Embedded Applications

Karl Akbari, Daniel Fürstenau, Till J. Winkler*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study explores the relationship between the governance of architecturally embedded applications and their longevity in organizational use. Using a contingency-fit logic, it posits that alignment between application governance (distribution of decision rights) and architectural contingencies contributes to sustained durations of organizational use. Architectural contingencies include internal application modularity, application inter-connectedness, and governance of surrounding application clusters. Evidence for the governance-architecture fit hypothesis is derived from analyzing temporally ordered data about applications (n = 225, n = 498, n = 193) from organizations in the media, banking, and utilities sectors over five years. Using a two-step approach with ordinal regression, along with Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models, our findings indicate that a fit between observed governance and the governance induced by architectural contingencies reduces the likelihood of application decommissioning. The study advances the fields of information systems (IS) governance and architecture by offering a micro-level perspective on the longevity of organizational IS use while also shedding light on the importance of governance choices aligned with unique architectural application properties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Information Systems
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)266-296
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Published online: 19 Feb 2024.


  • Digital infrastructure
  • Application governance
  • Application longevity
  • Application discontinuance
  • Information-systems architecture
  • Modular systems
  • Contingency fit
  • Survival analysis

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