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Strategic Business and IT Alignment: Addressing Assessment and Governance
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Strategic business and IT alignment assessment is growing in importance. Different assessment methods have been used to try to pursue the complexity of this dynamic and evolutionary alignment. Despite the fact that alignment is a real problem and a challenge of utmost importance, no consensus can be found on what alignment really is, how it should be measured in the organization in practice, or what measures should be taken to maintain and improve it. Consequently, the key question about how to assess and accomplish (define, identify, measure, maintain and improve) the strategic business and IT alignment is still a great unanswered challenge for many enterprises.

In this thesis work, three main research questions were formulated: how can the validity and reliability of an alignment assessment method be improved, what are the dominant topics in the area of alignment, and how to facilitate the analysis of the business and IT governance alignment based on business process simulation and balanced scorecard methods.

This is a composite thesis work that includes an introduction and six papers (paper A-F). The main contributions and results of this thesis are described in published and included technical papers. In papers A and B an alternative organization-wide approach and metamodel for assessing strategic business and IT alignment are proposed. Two case studies were performed applying the proposed approach. In paper C, a prioritized diagram of the most widely accepted strategic alignment model, with the purpose of categorizing the most important topics in the research area of strategic business and IT alignment is presented. One of the relevant topics that were identified is governance. In papers D, E and F, there are presented a business process simulation approach and a balanced scorecard method in order to facilitate the assessment of the business and IT governance alignment. An illustrative example of the simulation approach is presented in an appendix of this thesis.

This research work aims to improve the decision-making process for business and IT managers at different levels in an enterprise by means of increasing the level of understanding and knowledge as well as by enhancing existing models and methods, for evaluating strategic business and IT alignment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , v, 32 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2010:045
Keyword [en]
Enterprise Architecture, Strategic Business and IT Alignment, IT Governance, Business Governance, Business Process Simulation, Balanced Scorecards, IT Services, ITIL, COBIT
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26039OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-26039DiVA: diva2:369291
Public defence
2010-11-24, Room F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20101110

Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2014-07-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An Organization-Wide Approach For Assessing Strategic Business And IT Alignment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Organization-Wide Approach For Assessing Strategic Business And IT Alignment
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2005 (English)In: Proceedings from the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary firms operate in a dynamic environment for a number of reasons such as new technologies, entrepreneurial ideas, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory changes. A key for a well-functioning company is an Information Technology (IT) that is efficiently deployed to support the business objectives. Keeping business and IT strategies aligned as they evolve has been for several years in a row ranked amongst the top concerns of companies' executives. Despite this fact, there are few documented concepts and operation approaches for assessing business and IT alignment. This paper describes an organization-wide assessment approach, where the maturity model criteria and attributes are assessed with sub-questions for clarity.

National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25998 (URN)
Conference
the PICMET, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2005
Note
QC 20101109Available from: 2010-11-09 Created: 2010-11-08 Last updated: 2012-03-23Bibliographically approved
2. A Metamodel for Strategic Business and IT Alignment Assessment.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Metamodel for Strategic Business and IT Alignment Assessment.
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2006 (English)In: Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Systems Engineering 2006 (CSER2006), University of Southern California, USC, California, USA. April 2006., 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper proposes a metamodel based on Jerry N. Luftman’s strategic business andinformation technology (IT) alignment assessment approach. It explains how this metamodel isdeduced and how it will perform such an assessment, showing conformity with the expert’sparent approach. Since Enterprise Architecture (EA) has emerged as a feasible model-basedmanagement tool for the systematic and holistic planning and decision-making of an enterprise’sbusiness and IT system operation and evolution, this paper also argues the metamodel’saffiliation to EA as a guide or reference for identifying the relevant representations for specificconcerns, mitigating the expenses and drawbacks of the often larger modeling required to applythe EA Frameworks.

National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-14412 (URN)
Note
QC 20100805Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2014-07-15Bibliographically approved
3. Strategic Business and IT Alignment: A Prioritized Theory Diagram
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic Business and IT Alignment: A Prioritized Theory Diagram
2006 (English)In: In proceedings of Portland International Conference on Management of Engieering and Technology, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many academic and practitioners’ studies have shown that misalignment or lack of alignment between information technology (IT) and business strategies is one of the main reasons why enterprises fail to exploit the full potential of their IT investments. Furthermore, organizations that have accomplished a high degree of alignment are often associated with better business efficiency and effectiveness performance. As a conse-quence, strategic business and IT alignment (SBITA) has consistently been one of the top concerns of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in an enterprise.Despite these facts, there is little consensus on what SBITA really is; there are few documented theories, concepts and operational approaches for identifying, measuring, improving and maintaining the level of SBITA in an Henderson enterprise.This paper is based on the strategic alignment model (SAM) proposed by & Venkatraman in 1993, which is considered one of the most widespread and accepted models among the alignment community. Basi-cally, all later alignment models and consulting practices start from this strategic alignment model.The paper uses a method for building and prioritizing Theory Diagrams (TD) proposed by Johnsson P. et al [34]. In this case, the SAM is transformed into a hierarchical TD-SBITA, which is only a syntactic translation of it. importance of the alignment sub-topics presented by the most relevant and cited references in the field of SBITA among the academic and practitioner communities.The purpose of obtaining a prioritized TD based on SAM, in this case the TD-SBITA, is to categorize and define the topic of alignment more stringently given its current knowledge base. This prioritized TD-SBITA should gives indications on how important the alignment community finds the different topics and sub topics in the field of alignment.The prioritized TD-SBITA presented will contribute to the current assessment procedure for identifying, measuring, improving and maintaining the level of alignment between business and IT in an enterprise.

Keyword
Information Technology (IT), Business Strategy (BS), Strategic Business and IT Align-ment (SBITA), Strategic Alignment Model (SAM), Theory Diagram (TD), Prioritized Theory Diagram (PTD)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26023 (URN)10.1109/PICMET.2006.296546 (DOI)2-s2.0-50649118092 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101109Available from: 2010-11-09 Created: 2010-11-09 Last updated: 2012-03-23Bibliographically approved
4. How to Identify and Measure the Level of Alignment between IT and Business Governance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to Identify and Measure the Level of Alignment between IT and Business Governance
2005 (English)In: proceedings of the PICMET, 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that misalignment, or the lack of alignment, between information technology (IT) and business strategies is one of the main reasons why enterprises fail to exploit the full potential of their IT investments. Within enterprise governance, the alignment between IT and business governance is becoming more important in achieving the organization’s goals by adding value and balancing business risk versus return over IT. IT governance is integral to the success of business governance by assuring efficient, and effective measurable improvements in related business processes.In order to identify and measure the level of alignment between IT governance and business governance, this article proposes a novel correlation analysis approach. The approach consists of selecting a list of IT and business processes with their respective groups of key performance indicators then developing a correlation analysis between perspectives of business balanced scorecard and IT balanced scorecard. An illustrative example of correlation analysis is presented.The main contribution of this paper consists of presenting a new perspective and preliminary concepts on how to identify and measure the level of alignment between IT and business governance by means of correlating IT and business balanced scorecards.

Keyword
IT Governance (ITG), Business Governance (BG), Process Simulation (PS), IT and Business Alignment (ITBA), Balanced Scorecard (BSC), ITBSC, IT Process (ITP), Business Process (BP)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26024 (URN)
Conference
PICMET, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2005
Note
QC 20101101Available from: 2010-11-09 Created: 2010-11-09 Last updated: 2012-03-20Bibliographically approved
5. Business and IT Governance Alignment: The Importance of Using Process Simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business and IT Governance Alignment: The Importance of Using Process Simulation
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the Portland International Conference on Management of Technology,, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

IT governance is becoming more and more prominent in achieving an organization’s strategies and goals by adding value while balancing risk versus return over IT and its processes. According to ITGI, the IT governance is concerned with two problems: IT’s delivery of value to the business and mitigation of IT risk. This paper will evaluate the first one, which is driven by IT and business strategic alignment.For effective assessment of business and IT governance alignment (BITGA), enterprises need to assess how well they are currently performing and be able to identify where and how improvements can be made. This applies to the performance of both the business processes and the IT processes. This type of evaluation may be too complex and dynamic to be understood and analyzed only by static models that are adequate for answering “what” questions but not sufficient for answering “how”, “when”, “where” and “what if” ques-tions. In particular, the interactions of business and IT processes over time could result in a large number of scenarios.This paper presents the importance of using process simulation as a cost-effective method for assessing busi-ness and IT governance alignment, taking as the main reference the Hendersson and Venkatraman align-ment model. The paper argues that enterprises, in order to obtain the maximum value from their IT in-vestments, they need to identify, measure, improve and maintain a certain level of alignment between busi-ness and IT.

Keyword
Information Technology (IT), Process Simulation (PS), Strategic Business and IT Alignment (SBITA), Business and IT Governance Alignment (BITGA)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26036 (URN)
Conference
PICMET 2007
Note
QC 20101110Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved
6. Business and IT Governance Alignment: Simulation Essay on a Business Process and IT Service Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business and IT Governance Alignment: Simulation Essay on a Business Process and IT Service Model
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the main concerns of IT governance is IT's delivery of value to the business, which is driven by strategic business and IT alignment (SBITA). How to operationally assess the SBITA remains a great challenge for the CIO. This paper treats this problem, taking as a reference, the Henderson and Venkatraman strategic alignment model and expanding from it, a new process perspective of the business and IT governance alignment. There are two main contributions presented in this paper: first, a proposal of a business process and IT service model for assessing the business and IT governance alignment; and second, an illustrative simulation essay on a "business process and IT service model" for identifying and measuring the level of alignment between the business and IT governance, by using the simulation tool called Adoit.

Keyword
business data processing, information services, strategic planning
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26037 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2008.83 (DOI)2-s2.0-51449117254 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Proceedings of the 41st Annual, 7-10 Jan. 2008
Note
QC 20101110Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2010-11-10Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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