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Alignment of Business and IT Strategy - Essay Example

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Recent advances in technology have made it a necessity to aid business strategy in the 21st century. It is recognized that IT strategy aids in the development, or drives, business strategy and its implementation. Current understanding of the issue is that business strategy plus IT strategy is critical to the effective and efficient functioning of an organization…
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Alignment of Business and IT Strategy
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Download file to see previous pages However, it is yet to be determined that alignment issues exist, and if they do how to control for these gaps. The results showed that to enhance business strategy there must be a focus on the organizational vision and improvement of communication of business strategy and vision. The alignment of the two organizational elements, were concluded to be directly affected by the coherence of a business department. Overall, it was recommended that a robust business architecture be developed, and that the organization create a separate and centralized IT department.
During the past three decades IT ahs become essential to business operations. Initially IT was distributed over departments; decentralized; specialized; and limited in application. However, the authors do not provide insights as to why IT "increased and spread"; only examples of how. A common solution in the past was to have a separate IT department; however this was found to limit effective communication between IT department and other departments. The suggestion of IT departments reporting directly to management can create internal "politics". Management often prioritizes the issues and this can lead to resentment of IT staff by the end users in other parts of the organization. The isolation of IT strategy can also draw a significant amount of resources away from the overall business strategy. As a consequence, non-alignment increases costs in time, money and organizational harmony.
3.0 Literature Review
Since the early 1980s alignment of IT and business strategy has been realized as a critical need. The primary inhibitors identified over time have included; the IT department not prioritizing efficiently; and IT management lacking leadership. Models have been developed such as; 1) Strategic Integration Systems Planning (SISP); and 2) strategic integration across the entire organization. Solutions to date for effective alignment are; 1) communication and understanding; 2) business ownership and accountability for return on IT investments; 3) rapid strategy development driven by climatic business changes; and 4) enhance the internal competencies of the business.
4.0 Method
The method used to include the Alignment of Business and IT (ABIT) department of the Fortune 50 company to aid in the coordination of the project. The ABIT department created a list of potential employees who were considered to have a "balanced perspective". This is a limitation isn't that a random sample was not selected, and so the results cannot be generalized to other organizations, as the sample is not representative of the wider population.
Instead, selection criteria could have been used to operationalize what a "balanced perspective" was. Three groups were created; 1) one having a business perspective; 2) one having an IT perspective; and 3) one having a "balanced" perspective. However, a pre-test could have been done first to identify a priori knowledge and to place people in groups based on their current knowledge.
The questions for the interviews were developed with the aid of ABIT to identify gaps, however no information is given as to how these items were selected and if they were tested for their reliability and validity. Each group was interviewed with questions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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