Beyond profitability: ICT investments and financial institutions performance measures in developing economies

Kamla Ali Al-Busaidi*, Saeed Al-Muharrami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The national and global digital transformation makes investments in information and communications technology (ICT) by financial institutions a necessity, not only for gaining a competitive advantage but also for expanding their knowledge and learning about their customers. This study assesses the business value of ICT investments by financial institutions using a mixed-method approach. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopted a mixed-method approach. First, financial data were gathered from Omani banks' annual financial reports and through a longitudinal quantitative analysis in order to assess the value of ICT in financial institutions' profitability performances. Second, a Delphi qualitative approach was utilized in order to further assess how top managers view the impact of ICT investments in different aspects of business. We used an extended balanced scorecard (finance, customer, internal process and learning and growth) and a sector perspective to address how future ICT investments can offer value that goes beyond traditional metrics of profitability. Findings: The results of the longitudinal study demonstrated significant evidence of the impact of ICT investment on finance performance indicators; ICT value is significantly positive. Furthermore, the results indicated that there is an acceptable consensus among business and ICT managers that ICT is linked to performance indicators beyond financial; ICT value is linked also to customer indicators, internal process indicators and learning and growth indicators in addition to sector indicators. Originality/value: ICT is vital for a diversified and knowledge-based economy, especially for developing countries, because modern banking and financial institutions are relatively new in economies such as those that had previously relied on cash and informal financing institutions. Therefore, continued ICT investments face challenges and may not succeed. Most of the existing literature on ICT value has focused on tangible financial performance indicators. The financial evaluation of intangible performance indicators of ICT investments still remains a problematic area of high relevance to decision-makers. The present study provides an integrated assessment that enables financial institutions to develop their strategies and assessments in terms of ICT investments and to go beyond typical, tangible financial profitability indicators. Furthermore, it integrates assessment indicators that are beyond organizations themselves and reaches sectors and countries. This type of investigation is limited in the literature yet important for the financial sector as it is highly integrated by nature and critical to the development of a nation's economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-921
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2021


  • Balanced scorecard
  • Financial institutions
  • ICT
  • ICT investments
  • ICT value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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