BITInLine: A serious game to enhance business information technology and strategy alignment

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For organizations that use IT systems in their primary business or as support of their business processes, optimal alignment between the business strategy and their business information technology (BIT) is critical. However, achieving business information technology alignment remains challenging due to the vast number of choices one has to make. Firstly, one has to choose from a large number of potential BIT practices. Secondly, one has to choose BIT practices that align with the business strategy. Thirdly, one has to understand the dynamics of combining multiple BIT practices. And, finally, as business strategy and BIT practices evolve, one needs to consider the long-term alignment as this has significant consequences for both the business strategy and the overall enterprise architecture. These intricacies of alignment mirror the challenges apparent in other business strategy-practice alignment domains. An example is human resource management and strategy alignment for which a simulation model and serious game has been developed in prior research. Here, we build upon this prior research. In BITInLine players have to select a set of BIT practices with the best strategy fit from a list of 48 different BIT practices. The challenge is to select a combination of practices over multiple consecutive simulated years (rounds within the game) that align to the organisations' strategic profile, and adapt to the outcomes of the choices made in previous years. Practices in the game are clustered around six key BIT topics emerging from the strategic alignment and enterprise architecture disciplines: (1) service strategy, (2) information & data strategy, (3) platform & application strategy, (4) Infrastructure strategy, (5) security strategy, and (6) operations and performance. In BITInLine feedback on the BITA and the deviation from the desired strategic profile is presented after each round (representing a year of using the selected practices). Using BITInLine, players can experiment with, and in doing so learn from, selecting multiple combinations of BIT practices and experience the outcome of their choices in terms of BITA over multiple simulated years, while adapting their choice of practices to the situation at hand. In the current paper the serious game (re)design to create BITInLine and an initial trial run will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
PublisherDechema e.V.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587122
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Event15th European Conference on Games Based Learning ‐ ECGBL 2021 - A Virtual Conference Supported by The University of Brighton, UK, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Sept 202124 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference15th European Conference on Games Based Learning ‐ ECGBL 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Business information technology
  • Business strategy
  • Competing values model
  • Game-based research method
  • Serious game
  • 22/1 OA procedure


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