Business and IT alignment, a literature review of measurement and execution

Chimbuya, Andrew Toendepi (2013-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Research into Business and IT alignment and the critical success factors is quite vast and diverse. Many studies have been carried out on specific industries and companies of a certain size. Other studies have dissected strategic IT alignment into different dimensions, intellectual and social. Yet other studies have taken different approaches, such as process-oriented, cognitive approaches, and resource-based approaches. All these were done in the quest to find the factors that influence the attainment of strategic alignment in organisations. There has, however, not been a study that sought to bring all these different factors together and provide one collective view on them, which this study seeks to do. There also have been some studies on how to measure alignment. Several different approaches were made in an effort to discern the way in which alignment can be measured and what criteria should be used. These efforts have been varied and no particular study has tried to bring them all together to assist practitioners in their attempts to determine the level of alignment in organisations. The purpose of this literature review is to collect all the different critical success factors as well as all the common success measures, and formulate a collated list for both. This research report seeks to give an integrated view of the factors required to bring about alignment as well as the measures practitioners–use to determine the level of alignment once these factors are in place. The findings show that there are commonalities among the factors that influence alignment. These have been tabulated into one list, bringing together all common factors from the pertinent literature to date. They were grouped into seven main categories based on similarity, which are shared knowledge, planning processes, executive commitment, communication, clarity of business goals, prior success of IT, and user involvement. These common factors are presented in Table 4.1. The measures for success are more varied and a separate list for the common success measures was also tabulated. The common measures of alignment had a total of 15 criteria, which are shown in Table 4.1.These lists can be used by the practitioner who needs guidance on which factors are important for the realisation of strategic alignment and which criteria to measure once the factors have been implemented.

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