Assessing business-IT alignment in networked organizations

R.G. Santana Tapia

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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    Concerns such as identifying ways to control costs, improve quality, increase effectiveness, and manage risk have become increasingly important for organizations as they face more and more pressure to gain and maintain their competitive edge. Business-IT alignment (B-ITa) is recognized as a solution to these concerns. Aligning IT with the business remains one of the top priorities for both business practitioners and researchers. Interest in B-ITa is stimulated by cases of organizations that have successfully aligned their IT to gain competitive advantage and to improve organizational performance. There is a considerable literature on B-ITa in single organizations. Within this broad scope of literature, a number of authors have stressed the importance of assessing B-ITa in order to plan B-ITa improvement actions. In support of this, these authors have developed maturity models (MMs). MMs describe the development of a speci_c domain over time. Based on maturity assessments, organizations know the extent to which processes in such domains are predictable. That is, organizations can be aware of whether a speci_c area is su_ciently re_ned and documented so that the activities in such area now have the potential to achieve their desired outcomes. However, B-ITa in collaborative networked organizations (CNOs) has hardly been studied. Yet, this is important because improved B-ITa entails a more ef- _cient use of IT in the CNO supporting the integration of information systems and processes across organizational boundaries. CNOs form the core of a new discipline that focuses on the structure, behavior, and dynamics of networks of independent organizations that collaborate using IT to better achieve common goals. Notwithstanding the e_ective application of current B-ITa MMs for single organizations, to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing this dissertation, there is no MM that speci_cally addresses the processes needed for achieving alignment between business and IT in CNOs. In response, this dissertation introduces the ICoNOs MM, a MM to assess B-ITa in CNOs. The ICoNOs MM presents a roll up of recommendations { e.g., coordination mechanisms, implementation strategies and organizational changes, in the form of process areas, speci_c goals and practices. Through its maturity levels, the ICoNOs MM provides improvement routes for those domains that are the most important for achieving alignment in CNOs. We believe that achieving B-ITa in CNOs is more complex than in single organizations because in collaborative settings, B-ITa is driven by goals of different independent organizations commonly with no centralized decision-making processes. Throughout this dissertation, we present the results of four literature surveys, one focus group, and six case studies. Based on these conceptual and empirical research activities, we designed and validated the components underlying the ICoNOs MM and the model itself.
    Original languageUndefined
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Wieringa, Roelf Johannes, Supervisor
    • van Eck, Pascal, Advisor
    • Daneva, Maya, Advisor
    Thesis sponsors
    Award date4 Dec 2009
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-2927-3
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2009


    • IR-68652
    • EWI-17009
    • METIS-264244
    • NWO 638.003.407

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