System Embeddedness and Continuance Inertia: An Exploratory Network Analysis

Daniel Fürstenau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We suggest a method to assess the extent to which information systems in organizations show continuance inertia in a network of information systems linked through flows of information. Using centrality measures from network analysis, we argue that systems showing high degree centrality are likely to exhibit significant continuance inertia as they interface with many other systems and will most probably embed in a multitude of business processes. We argue that systems with high betweeness will also display serious continuance inertia as these systems act as a gateway and span between different parts of the information system network. We demonstrate and evaluate our method using a network data set from a German recycling company with close to thirty subsidies. The data compromise applications, information flows and ownership attributes. We find that network representations and centrality measures demonstrate practical value for the company's architects and IT managers to evaluate system embeddedness and inertial tendencies. Our paper stimulates further research on network-theoretic models to examine complex infrastructural arrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th IADIS International Conference Information Systems 2014, IS 2014
EditorsPhilip Powell, Miguel Baptista Nunes, Pedro Isaías, Luís Rodrigues
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationLisbon
PublisherInternational Association for Development, IADIS
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)9789898704047
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th IADIS International Conference on Information Systems, IS 2014 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 28 Feb 20142 Mar 2014
Conference number: 7


Conference7th IADIS International Conference on Information Systems, IS 2014
Internet address


  • Application landscapes
  • Continuance inertia
  • Network-theoretic models
  • System embeddedness

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