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  • 1. Dzamashvili-Fogelström, Nina
    et al.
    Numminen, Emil
    Barney, Sebastian
    Using Portfolio Theory to Support Requirements Selection Decisions2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract—Selecting requirements for a release of software is a difficult undertaking as people have trouble comparing requirements of different types and have natural biases towards short-terms gains over longer-term sustainability. Portfolio theory is proposed as a solution to this problem, as it provides a method for balancing investment options to maximize the likelihood of a given return. This approach is explored generally and through an example. The results suggest portfolio theory can be applied for this purpose. Applying portfolio theory to determine the amount of development time that should be spent on different types of requirements shows the most potential, especially when data on expected risks and returns is limited.

  • 2.
    Falkenback, Fredrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Business Administration and Social Science.
    Numminen, Emil
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Business Administration and Social Science.
    TETRA?: En uppsats om valet av nationellt kommunikationssystem för "Blåljusmyndigheterna"2001Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Problemformulering: Statskontoret har fått i uppdrag att upphandla ett nytt kommunikationssystem för landets Ambulans, Polis och Räddningstjänsten. Utredningar såsom SOU 1998: 143 har pekat på att TETRA skall väljas. Man kan dock diskutera valet av kommunikationssystem utifrån argumentet att det nya kommunikationssystemet skall skapa mervärde. Detta mervärde kan man tänka endast skapas vid krissituationer. Det är då som fokuset skiftar från kostnader till funktionalitet och de värden man kan spara. Frågan är bara hur ofta kriser och onormala händelser inträffar samt vilka andra påverkbara problem som finns. Sannolikheten att katastrofer inträffar är ofta mycket överdrivna av människan. Även olika typer av trånga sektioner kan begränsa en räddningsinsats. Syfte: Uppsatsens syfte är att undersöka om Ambulans, Polis och Räddningstjänst i Karlskrona/Ronneby kan bedriva sin verksamhet med ett UMTS system för kommunikation, utifrån ett funktionalitets perspektiv, istället för ett TETRA system. Metod: Teknisk jämförelse och en fallstudie hos Ambulans, Polis och Räddningstjänst. Slutsatser: Vi anser att den nyckelskillnad TETRA har, nod till nod, inte har den betydelsen, att UMTS inte skulle kunna ses som ett alternativ till TETRA. UMTS blir även en mer kostnadseffektiv lösning för samhället.

  • 3. Numminen, Emil
    Modeling the Return of Information System Investments2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The task of a priori valuation of information system investments has attracted a lot of research for a long time. One of the main themes of this research has been which types of consequences information system investments result in and how these consequences can be incorporated in the a priori valuation of that investment. Much of this research has stated the problem as how to incorporate intangible consequences in the valuation since intangible costs and benefits are assumed to represent a large part of the consequences from an information system investment. These consequences are therefore highly relevant in the appraisal of information system investments. This paper is concerned with the question of how intangible consequences can be incorporated in the a priori valuation of information system investments. To answer this question, the paper presents a theoretical model for the valuation of information system investments based upon a continuous time discounted cash flow model, The general model argued for in this paper is that usage results in consequences which must be into cash flows to be incorporated in a discounted cash flow model. Usage is chosen as the underlying value creating function since it is the basic underlying function that creates all consequences specific to the information system investment. Some of these consequences can be measured and valued and thus expressed in cash flows and do therefore not cause any valuation problems. Intangible consequences on the other hand cannot be measured or valued when they occur. If these consequences never affect the cash flow they do not pose a valuation problem. It is more likely however that they will affect the cash flow but at a later time. This paper develops a stochastic cash flow model to incorporate the uncertainty and characteristics of when the intangible consequences affect the cash flow by using a Brownian motion in the valuation model. The expectations of the future cash flows are transformed into risk-neutral expectations so a risk-free rate of return can be used as a discount factor.

  • 4. Numminen, Emil
    On the Economic Return of a Software Investment – Managing Cost, Benefit and Uncertainty2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how the economic return of a software investment can be assessed and managed. This topic has been studied in research and has been a concern for firms making software investments. In order to study this we need a model of the underlying factors affecting the economic return. Assessing and managing the return of a software investment is been argued to be difficult due to specific economic characteristics of a software investment, i.e. high degree of intangible consequences and uncertainty about the total investment cost. Given these characteristics it is has been concluded that it is difficult to derive a return function. In this dissertation we question this conclusion and propose a comprehensive model to assess and manage the intangibles and the underlying uncertainty. The model is deduced from general assumptions of the economic behavior of the firm. To develop the model we analyze the relevance of intangibles in relation to the economic purpose of making a software investment. Based on this a new way of deriving a cash flow function for a software investments is defined. Further it is analyzed how the underlying uncertainty of a software investment can be managed. The analysis uses a quantitative approach and methods from financial economics. It includes how the application of a real option and portfolio approach can reduce the uncertainty in a software investment and the role of efficient software platforms. The relation between software platforms and the opportunity to create different types of real options for future development is inferred from empirical studies. The studies in this dissertation show how a managerial view on a software investment corresponds with the overall economic goal of the firm. They also show how a strategic value of a software investment can be created, assessed and managed.

  • 5. Numminen, Emil
    Software Investments under Uncertainty: Modeling Intangible Consequences as a Stochastic Process2008Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Software systems are today a part of more or less every organization. The varieties of software used in organizations are ranging from simple log-keeping applications to advanced decision support systems. The task of a priori valuation of software investments has attracted a lot of research for a long time. One of the main themes of this research has been which types of consequences software investments result in and how these consequences can be incorporated in the a priori valuation of the investment. Much of this research has stated the problem as how to incorporate intangible consequences in the valuation since intangible costs and benefits are assumed to represent a large part of the consequences from a software investment. These consequences are therefore highly relevant in the appraisal of software investments. This thesis is concerned with the question of how intangible consequences can be incorporated in the a priori valuation of a software investment. To answer this question, this thesis presents a theoretical model for the valuation of a software investment based upon a discounted cash flow model in continuous time. The general model argued for in this thesis is that usage results in consequences which must be translated into cash flows to be incorporated in a discounted cash flow model. The software usage is chosen as the underlying value creating function since it is the basic underlying function that creates all consequences specific to the software investment. This thesis develops a stochastic cash flow model to incorporate the uncertainty and characteristics of when the intangible conse quences have an effect on the cash flow by adopting a Brownian motion into the valuation model. To find an analytic model for the problem, the expectations of the future cash flows is transformed into risk-neutral expectations. This allows us to use the risk-free rate of return as a discount factor in the model.

  • 6. Numminen, Emil
    Why Software Platforms Make Sense in Risk Reduction in Software Development2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software development is generally characterized by risk and uncertainty. The uncertainty can be argued to be of two general types, either a technical uncertainty and/or a market uncertainty. From an economical stand point we view technical uncertainty as the cost uncertainty for developing the software whereas the market uncertainty is the uncertainty regarding the revenues later gained from the sales of the software. A great deal of research has focused on how to overcome these types of uncertainties by developing models for exploring them with the aim of increasing the ability to manage them. This research has shown that reuse of previous software functionalities in the form of software platforms or as components in software product line engineering can reduce the uncertainty of a software investment. Employment of these strategies can also be seen empirically by studying firms in the software industry. This paper adds to that research by developing an underlying model that explains why and how platform based developing strategies for software development reduce market uncertainty. The model also explains why certain types of software functionalities are better combined with other types of software functionalities into software platforms in order to reduce market uncertainty. The developed model is based upon portfolio theory which is a branch of financial economics that deals with uncertainty reduction in investments. The main part of the paper consists of numerical analysis to show why and how the platform strategy reduces the uncertainty in the software development without an equal reduction in the expected return of the investment in the software development. The analysis begins with a decision setting consisting of two types of software functionalities that can be developed. It is shown that different proportions of the two types of functionalities result in different risk and return profiles. It is also shown that the two functionalities should be developed as a platform instead of developing each functionality separately if the market uncertainty is to be reduced. The analysis is then extended and generalized into a decision setting consisting of several types of functionalities that can be developed and added to the platform. The analysis is concluded with a real option based discussion to explain why the market potential is increased with a platform based developing strategy. The paper ends with a discussion about managerial implications and suggestions for further research based on the presented results in this paper.

  • 7.
    Numminen, Emil
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Sällberg, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    The impact of online ratings on downloads of free mobile apps2017In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 11TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT (ECISM 2017) / [ed] Dameri R.D.,Spinelli R., 2017, p. 225-232Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consumers tend to rely more on peer information than seller information for their online product choices. Online rating systems have therefore become popular whereby consumers evaluate a product’s quality on a numerical scale. Previous studies have mainly investigated sales effects of online ratings, reporting mixed findings. How online ratings impact free app downloads is important to better understand for multiple and related reasons. Specifically, the vast majority of apps are free to download, price cannot be used by potential consumers to infer app quality, and providers may offer free apps as a means to gain market share. In this paper we analyse how average rating score, volume of ratings, and dispersion of ratings impact free app downloads. Signaling theory is used to derive hypotheses on how online rating variables impact in this regard. Data on online ratings and downloads of apps was collected for 720 apps available on Apple App Store and Google Play. Apps from the productivity and game categories were sampled to capture utilitarian and hedonic apps respectively. This choice was made to enable analysing the impact of online ratings across app type. For free app downloads, regression analyses revealed: (1) volume of ratings to have positive significant effect; (2) average rating score to have positive but insignificant effect; and (3) dispersion of ratings to have positive significant effect contingent on app type. Findings are partially consistent with signaling theory and suggest that app rating providers should attempt to attract large volume of ratings. Providing incentives for rating apps, or using a pledge in the app asking consumers to rate it, could be such means. Future research is needed on whether average rating scores are too similar for competing app alternatives to guide app choice. Further research is also needed on why dispersion of ratings positively impacts free app downloads.

  • 8. Numminen, Emil
    et al.
    Wrenne, Anders
    The Role of Platforms in Software Development: Planting Real Options to Manage Uncertainties2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The innovation process of developing new software is a challenging job and an uncertain process because of the tasks associated with the development. These uncertainties can be categorized based on what drives the uncertainty. In this paper we separate between inner and outer uncertainty. Inner uncertainty stems from how a software product shall be developed and the cost associated with it. The outer uncertainty stems from what software product shall be developed and the revenues associated with it. This paper draws on theories from innovation and development research to develop a model to analyze how the uncertainty during a software development project can be managed. In doing so, we take a supply side view on software development where the firm does not merely respond to given market needs in the development cycle but instead plays a more active role. We operationalize the supply side of the innovation process in the software development by developing a model where we analyze how service platforms create real options for future innovations. An empirical study has been conducted to examine whether and how platforms are used in software development to plant options for future innovations as suggested by the model. The study was conducted at a company that primarily develops IT-phone-service products. This study shows that the company use platforms for the development of their products. Further, it is a prerequisite for developing software at the pace as well as the cost and the quality demanded by their customers. The platforms play different roles in the development depending on the product being developed. The study describes the development of two different products and how the platforms are used in different ways in the development of these products. The differences in the use of platforms is partly because of the different nature of the products but also due to the market maturity of the software, this result in a difference in the kind of real options that is created for the future. The study shows that both inner and outer uncertainties are reduced by the use of platforms in the development phase.

  • 9. Numminen, Emil
    et al.
    Wrenne, Anders
    Uncertainty Reduction in Software Development by the use of a Platform Based Development Strategy2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The process of developing software requires a substantial investment and the project has several sources of uncertainty. One part of this uncertainty is the inner uncertainty, i.e. the uncertainty related to the cost and time for developing the software. The second part of the uncertainty is the outer uncertainty, i.e. the market uncertainty whether the investment will yield a positive return or not. This paper looks at how the uncertainty associated with software development can be managed. For this purpose, a development model is constructed by analyzing three video games that has become successes for different reasons. The video game industry is used as a benchmark since video games exhibit the same type of uncertainties as software but in a more extreme way while sharing the same product characteristics which makes the comparison possible. The theoretical point of departure for the analysis is based upon the latest innovation and strategy research. Recent innovation and strategy literature stresses that flexibility in the development not only adds value to the project but also decreases uncertainty in the project because of real options planted into the project. In this paper we focus on how these options were planted into the video games and the result of it. We argue that the possibility to plant these real options is directly related to the use of a platform based development strategy. These video games were chosen so that three different types of platforms could be indentified. Each of these platforms resulted in a different type of a real option for future product development. The analyses focus on the uniqueness in the different platform in the sense that they lead to a competitive advantage for the firm from which different types of real options for future product development can be derived. The general analysis of the platform based development strategy results in three implications for software development. The paper ends with conclusions and suggestions for further research.

  • 10. Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Numminen, Emil
    Transaction Cost Economics in Offshoring: From Naïve To Realistic View on Associated Costs2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11. Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Wohlin, Claes
    Aurum, Aybuke
    Jabangwe, Ronald
    Numminen, Emil
    Towards an Understanding of Sourcing Decisions2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Wohlin, Claes
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Aurum, Aybüke
    Jabangwe, Ronald
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Numminen, Emil
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Offshore Insourcing in Software Development: Structuring the Decision-Making Process2013In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, Vol. 86, no 4, p. 1054-1067Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A variety of new forms of business are enabled through globalization and practiced by software organizations today. While companies go global to reduce their development costs, access a larger pool of resources and explore new markets, it is often assumed that the level of delivered services shall remain the same after implementing the sourcing decisions. In contrast, critical studies identified that global software development is associated with unique challenges, and a lot of global projects fail to mitigate the implications of a particular global setting. In this paper we explore offshore insourcing decisions on the basis of empirical research literature and an empirical field study conducted at Ericsson. By analyzing decisions in two different cases we found that each offshore insourcing decision consisted of deciding what, where, when, how and why to insource. Related empirical research and field observations suggest that not all combinations are successful and alignment between different decision points has thus a prominent role. To address these concerns we built an empirically-based insourcing decision structure, which outlines a logical path through the decision options and helps selecting an offshore insourcing strategy that targets creation of the necessary alignment. The key element of the proposed approach is a structured and well-defined decision-making process, which is intended to support managers in their decision-making. The usefulness of the proposed approach is evaluated in an additional empirical case of a new offshore insourcing decision.

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