Aligning Business Strategy with IT Strategy

 Why is aligning business strategy and it strategy so difficult? This paper explores business and it alignment to identify the level of business alignment with it and the reasons for the continuing challenge of aligning business with it.

"This paper presents survey and interview findings from 21 Senior IT and business executives in 15 organizations including several Fortune 500 and 1000 firms. Survey, interviews, and field observational techniques were used to characterize organizations as Operational, Strategic Resource, or Strategic Weapon profiles based on level of business/IT strategy alignment. Results indicate that strategic alignment occurs most frequently across industries and organizations at functional and team levels, followed by the business unit, and enterprise levels. Our findings confirm studies that argue the continuing difficulty organizations experience in achieving enterprise alignment of IT and business strategy. Our results also showed that knowledge management capabilities were the least used integrating enablers. Project management skills were identified as the most frequently used alignment resources, followed by change management, negotiation, political, innovation, and entrepreneurial capabilities. Reasons offered for these findings include: limited level of know-how by professionals, organizational structural and cultural barriers, and production pressures to use existing technologies. Future research and practical suggestions for alignment are offered."

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