Business and IT alignment in a global industrial organization
Permanent address of the item is
Liiketoiminnan ja IT:n yhteensovittaminen globaalissa teollisuusyrityksessä
Business and information technology (IT) alignment is a constant concern and challenge for organizations. It is a holistic activity of aligning both the operational and strategical levels of the business and IT entities in organizations, but also includes observing the alignment and alignment process itself. Business and IT alignment is a mindset and guiding principle that ought to be visible in all parts and levels of the cooperation between business and IT. With the large scope of business and IT alignment, it has varying and iconic challenges connected to it. Holistic strategy formation, extensive communication and great leadership are some requirements of sufficient alignment. The challenge of acquiring these and numerous other perspective of business and IT alignment is not simple. To aid in this different models and frameworks can be utilized to understand the dependencies and focus areas of the alignment. One approach to business and IT alignment is to assess it through different viewpoints. The alignment can be seen to have three dimensions; functional, structural and dynamical dimension. Functional dimension addresses the strategic fit of the organization on both and IT and business side including the guiding infrastructure principles. Structural alignment focuses on the structural fit between the reality in the organization and strategic needs it ought to fill. Dynamical dimension evaluates the temporal aspect of the alignment. This refers to for example the organizations ability the react and execute change. These three dimensions were utilized together to identify business and IT alignment challenges in the case organization. The empirical method used to assess the organization were theme interviews, to which 14 executives from different parts of the organization took part. As a result 32 challenges were identified form all of the dimension together. The aim of the research was to provide understanding of the current challenges in business and IT alignment in a global industry organization such as the case organization. The results are also a good starting point of whatever development activities the case organization would like to execute in the business and IT alignment.