Business-IT Strategic Alignment Concept in Theory and Practice
Abstract: Business-IT strategic alignment is one of the most popular modern management concepts in business and IT management particularly in academia and industry. It refers to the degree of congruence between business and IT strategies. The dramatic increase in the role of IS/IT in business and industry lately recognized as IS/IT became an inseparable part of business and industrial organizations in all sectors including government, healthcare, and education. Ensuring that IS/IT delivers a value to the business is an important issue to the CEO and IT managers in many business firms and industrial organizations today. This master thesis provides insights into business-IT Strategic alignment concept in theory and practice, and it addresses two important issues within business-IT strategic alignment. The first is to define and clarify the concepts of strategic alignment and alignment gap between business strategy and IT strategy, and to determine the reasons and circumstances that lead to the alignment gap between business strategy and IT strategy. The second is to determine how to manage the strategic alignment based on the answer to the first question and supported by illustrative cases studies in four different business and industrial sectors. A conceptual model has been developed wherein business strategy and IT strategy coexist, and tested empirically using data from four firms in different sectors in industry. The empirical data about the four companies are presented and analyzed. Based on literature, the concepts of strategic alignment and alignment gap have been clearly identified, and the research model has been verified. The results indicate that bridging the alignment gap between business strategy and IT strategy will help organizations to achieve and sustain strategic alignment.
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