Business-IT Strategic Alignment Concept in Theory and Practice

University essay from IT-universitetet i Göteborg/Tillämpad informationsteknologi

Abstract: Business-IT strategic alignment is one of the most popular modern management conceptsin business and IT management particularly in academia and industry. It refers tothe degree of congruence between business and IT strategies. The dramatic increase inthe role of IS/IT in business and industry lately recognized as IS/IT became an inseparablepart 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 importantissue to the CEO and IT managers in many business firms and industrial organizationstoday.This master thesis provides insights into business-IT Strategic alignment concept in theoryand practice, and it addresses two important issues within business-IT strategicalignment. The first is to define and clarify the concepts of strategic alignment andalignment gap between business strategy and IT strategy, and to determine the reasonsand 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 answerto the first question and supported by illustrative cases studies in four differentbusiness and industrial sectors. A conceptual model has been developed wherein businessstrategy and IT strategy coexist, and tested empirically using data from four firmsin different sectors in industry. The empirical data about the four companies are presentedand analyzed. Based on literature, the concepts of strategic alignment and alignmentgap have been clearly identified, and the research model has been verified. Theresults indicate that bridging the alignment gap between business strategy and IT strategywill help organizations to achieve and sustain strategic alignment.

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