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Transforming the enterprise: The alignment of business and information technology strategies

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3 Author(s)
J. N. Luftman ; IBM Consulting Group, Advanced Business Institute, Route 9W, Palisades, New York 10964-8001, USA ; P. R. Lewis ; S. H. Oldach

The strategic use of information technology (I/T) is now and has been a fundamental issue for every business. In essence, I/T can alter the basic nature of an industry. The effective and efficient utilization of information technology requires the alignment of the I/T strategies with the business strategies, something that was not done successfully in the past with traditional approaches. New methods and approaches are now available. The strategic alignment framework applies the Strategic Alignment Model to reflect the view that business success depends on the linkage of business strategy, information technology strategy, organizational infrastructure and processes, and I/T infrastructure and processes. In this paper, we look at why it may not be sufficient to work on any one of these areas in isolation or to only harmonize business strategy and information technology. One reason is that, often, too much attention is placed on technology, rather than business, management, and organizational issues. The objective is to build an organizational structure and set of business processes that reflect the interdependence of enterprise strategy and information technology capabilities. The attention paid to the linkage of information technology to the enterprise can significantly affect the competitiveness and efficiency of the business. The essential issue is how information technology can enable the achievement of competitive and strategic advantage for the enterprise.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 1 )