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Alignment Everywhere: A Cross-cutting Issue!

Jerry Luftman made the statement some fifteen years ago that “The strategic use of information technology (IT) is now and has been a fundamental issue for every business. In essence, IT can alter the basic nature of an industry”. The statement is what one might expect for a member of IBM Consulting Group, but it is also a prescient view of what we are now seeing. Information technology is seen as a great enabler of business, especially in the global arena. Information technology, as an enabler, has allowed businesses to compete on a world stage with far less investment than in the past. The question then becomes one of knowing how best to align that tool (IT) with the goals of the organization.

Our objective is to study alignment and its implications for corporate strategy; the alignment in nations, regions, cities, rural areas; and the relationship between alignment and society. Our purpose is to develop new theories and models, collect data to test and apply the theories and models, and disseminate the research results to scholars and practitioners.

The mSAIM model is the first model developed for multinational corporations (MNCs). Four forms of MNCs are considered in our research: global, international, multidomestic, and transnational organizations. The business-IT strategic alignment implementation model for MNCs (mSAIM) draws upon the proposed business-IT strategic alignment model for MNCs (mSAM) which covers process and content perspectives of the interrelationship between business and IT for this category of organizations.

Alignment is a cross-cutting issue. Our focus is on the following fields of alignment:

1) ALIGNMENT AND FIRM STRATEGY
• Alignment and Leadership
• Alignment and Management
• Alignment in Multinational Corporations (MNCs)
• Alignment in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
• Alignment in Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs)
• Strategic Alignment
• Industry Structure and Alignment
• Organizational Performance, Productivity, and Effectiveness
• Location, Internationalization, and Global Strategic Alignment
• Alignment and the Internet
• Alignment and Outsourcing/Offsourcing
• Alignment, Intrapreneurship, and Entrepreneurship
• Alignment and Innovation
• Alignment and Knowledge Management
• Alignment and Project Management.

2) ALIGNMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
• Alignment and National Development
• Alignment for Regional Development
• Alignment of States and Regions
• Alignment in Cities
• Alignment in Rural Areas

3) ALIGNMENT AND SOCIETY
• Alignment in Healthcare
• Alignment and Electoral Systems
• Alignment in Education

Our Five-Stage Process of IT Strategic Alignment

Our five-stage process of IT strategic alignment covers process and content perspectives of the interrelationship between business and IT in MNCs. The process perspective includes the following dimensions: (a) intellectual and social, (b) short- and long-term, (c) shared domain knowledge, and (d) enablers and inhibitors.

The content perspective focused on the strategic orientation of business enterprises and the strategic orientation of the existing portfolio of information systems. The five-stage process summarizes the steps for a successful IT strategic alignment in MNCs. The process has five stages, each of which is associated with one of the nine reasons explaining IT projects failure.
The steps are: clarifying the strategic business orientation, developing leadership competencies of business and IT managers, sharing knowledge, strategically planning IT projects, and strategically managing IT and technological changes.

Note: If you are interested in Business-IT Strategy Alignment (Business Strategy Planning & IT Alignment), please join my group on LinkedIn. You will have a free access to the five-stage process of business-IT Strategic Alignment from the Slideshare presentations from my LinkedIn profile.

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1 thought on “Alignment Everywhere: A Cross-cutting Issue!

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