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Strategic Information System

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Strategic Information Systems Knowledge – IST and Business Alignment
Author: Acumen Insights Version: 0.1 Date Published: 11-Jan-2009 http://www.acumen-insights.com

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Strategic Information Systems Knowledge – IST and Business Alignment

The Information Systems and Technology (IST) and business alignment knowledge developed out of the need to ensure that IST capabilities were being developed to meet the business processes of the organisation. This paper addresses some of the issues surrounding the alignment of business and IST capabilities.

For the first 20 years of computing in business the focus was mainly concerned with utilising early computer capabilities to improve business calculations – such as accountancy capabilities. Following the advent of desktop computing and its distribution within organisations, the early 1990’s were characterised by the need for functional alignment – i.e. making sure the IST capabilities meet functional needs. Following this, the focus then moved onto ensuring that the alignment not only occurred at the functional level but also at the strategic level: “…we argue that the inability to realise value from IST investments is, in part, due to the lack of alignment between business and IST strategies of organizations.” Henderson & Venkatraman (1993: 4) “…alignment is based on two building blocks: strategic fit and functional integration. The former recognises the need for any strategy to address both external and internal domains. The external domain is the business arena in which the firm competes and is concerned with...


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