Operational and Structural Business IT Alignment

  • Mats-Åke Hugoson
  • Kalevi Pessi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 97)

Abstract

In recent years, Enterprise Architecture has gradually emerged as the preeminent means to change and transform large organizations. By employing Architectural Principles, organizations strive to master the complexity inherent in business processes and IT system and their harmonious alignment. Unfortunately, very rarely has the coevolutionary and emergent nature of alignment been taken into consideration in IS research. Even if different approaches focus on business IT alignment, most of them have a tendency to focus on alignment as a state or an outcome. In this paper we argue that a dynamic approach is necessary in order to achieve business IT alignment in a long-term perspective. Furthermore we demonstrate that the choice of architectural principles has an impact on the ability to achieve and maintain operational as well as structural alignment. A case study is used as a basis for the analysis. The conclusion is that an Enterprise-centric architecture can create freedom of action for dynamic operational alignment, and that Business-oriented IT management can keep the IS Architecture aligned with the Business Architecture in a long term perspective.

Keywords

Enterprise Architecture Operational Alignment Structural Alignment Architectural Principles Business Changes 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Aerts, A.T.M., Goossenaerts, J.B.M., Hammer, D.K., Wortmann, J.C.: Architectures in context: on the evolution of business, application software, and ICT platform architectures. Information & Management 41, 781–794 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benbya, H., McKelvey, B.: Using coevolutionary and complexity theories to imrpove IS alignment: a multi-level approach. Journal of Information Technology (21), 284–298 (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chan, Y.E.: Why haven’t we mastered alignment? The importance of the informal organization structure. MIS Quarterly Executive 1(2) (June 2002)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mathiassen, L.: Collaborative Practice Research. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems (14), 57–76 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Walsham, G.: Interpretive Case Studies in IS Research: Nature and Method. European Journal of Information Systems (4), 74–81 (1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klein, H.K., Myers, M.D.: A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems. MIS Quarterly 23(1), 67–94 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beimborn, D., Franke, J., Wagner, H.-T., Weitzel, T.: The Impact of Operational Alignment on IT Flexibility – Empirical Evidence from a Survey in the German Banking Industry. In: Proceedings of Americas Conference on Information Systems. Paper 131 (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wagner, H.-T., Weitel, T.: Operational IT Business Alignment as the Missing Link from IT Strategy to Firm Success. In: Proceedings of Americas Conference on Information Systems. Paper 74 (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hugoson, M.-Å., Magoulas, T., Pessi, K.: Interoperability Strategies for Business Agility. In: Dietz, J.L.G., et al. (eds.) CIAO! 2008 and EOMAS 2008. LNBIP, vol. 10, pp. 108–121. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Allen, B.R., Och Boynton, A.C.: Information Architecture: In Search of Efficient Flexibility. MIS Quarterly 15(4) (December 1991)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Solotruk, M., Kristofic, M.: Increasing the Degree of Information System Integration and Developing an Integrated Information System. Information & Management 3(3) (1980)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hugoson, M.-Å., Magoulas, T., Pessi, K.: Architectural principles for alignment within the context of agile enterprises. In: Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hendersson, J.C., Venkatraman, N.: Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations. IBM Systems Journal 36(2&3) (1999)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Reich, B.H., Benbasat, I.: Measuring the Linkage Between Business and Information Technology Objectives. MIS Quarterly 20(1), 55–81 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Reich, B.H., Benbasat, I.: Measuring the Information Systems - Business Strategy Relationship. In: Leidner, D.E., Galliers, R.D. (eds.) Strategic Information Management: Challenges and Strategies in Managing Information Systems, pp. 265–310. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Maes, R., Rijsenrij, D., Truijens, O., Goedvolk, H.: Redefining business IT alignment through a unified framework. PrimaVera Working Paper 2000-19. Universiteit van Amsterdam (2000)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    van de Ven, A.H., Scott Poole, M.: Explaining Development and change in organizations. The Academy of Management Review 20(3), 510–540 (1995)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Brown, S.L., Eisenhardt, K.M.: The art of continuous change: Linking complexity theory and time-paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 42(1), 1–34 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bartunek, J.M., Moch, M.K.: First-Order, Second-Order, and Third-Order Change and Organization Development Interventions: A Cognitive Approach. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 23(4) (1987)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Davenport, T.H.: Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System. Harvard Business Review (July-August 1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mats-Åke Hugoson
    • 1
  • Kalevi Pessi
    • 2
  1. 1.Jönköping International Business SchoolJönköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of Applied ITUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations