An exploratory study of strategic planning for digital convergence in selected South African enterprises
This research study is focused on the strategic planning process for digital convergence in South African enterprises; it analyses the sophistication of digital convergence plans by interrogating the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of organisation’s planning systems. Three research areas are probed: the planning process, the planning steps and the benefits and barriers of convergence, both anticipated and experienced. The planning process i.e. the ‘how’ is interrogated with respect to the following planning process dimensions: formalisation, consistency, flow, focus, participation and comprehensiveness. The ‘what’ identifies the relevant convergence planning steps, and additionally determines whether specific activities to identify the benefits, barriers and implementation issues related to these convergence initiatives, are included. The study also identifies and compares the benefits and barriers of convergence, both anticipated and experienced. While extensive research has been conducted into the technological aspects of convergence, there is a lack of research into the planning aspects, especially the extent to which organisations are strategically planning for convergence. The results from this study will assist organisations reflect on their planning process and will enable organisations understand weaknesses and strengths within their planning process for convergence. This study also proposes an enhanced model for convergence planning This study is exploratory in nature with the intention to look for patterns and to gain familiarity with the area of strategic planning for convergence. The study is based on a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with organisations that have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, a converged infrastructure. There are 3 main sections after the introductory chapter. The first section (chapter 2) discusses the concepts that support digital convergence and identifies some of the numerous definitions of convergence that exist in the literature. It expands on the strategic nature of convergence and importantly, presents the contributions and shortcomings of previous research. The next section (chapter’s 3 and 4) justifies the primarily qualitative approach selected for this study and defines the data analysis strategy. The last section (chapter’s 5 and 6) presents the findings from the interviews and presents the concluding remarks.
Strategic planning, Digital communication