The strategic alignment of business and information strategy is the ability of the organization to integrate its information strategy in the overall business strategy, which is vital in the achievement of short and long-term business objectives. The relationship between the business and information strategy results in a triangle known as the ‘Information System Strategy Triangle’, which plays fundamental roles sin the overall performance of the business (Bharadwaj, et al., 2013). The purpose of aligning business and information strategies is to ensure the overall goals of the business integrate information system, which is vital in the achievement of such goals. This will ensure the business works alongside its information strategies, which offer guidance to achievement of the organizational goals. Integration of business and information strategies is also vital in balancing the business practices against the information systems within the organization (Chen, et al., 2010). Finally, there is also need to integrate business and information strategies to avoid the adverse consequences, which may arise when both systems are treated in isolation. This also functions to minimize the risk of business failure resulting from parallel business and information strategies.
Irrespective of the benefits of aligning business and information strategies, there are also numerous challenges associated with the alignment. To start with, according to Elmorshidy (2013), most of the information technology professionals and the management always experience constant conflicts in the process of decision-making. This is due to inadequate mutual trust between the parties, which leads to the failure to deliver desired results due to the blame and mistrust among the parties concerned. Lack of consensus in decision-making leads to incongruent decision making between the two departments, which may make the business fail to achieve its goals (Pagani, 2013). The massive competition between different organizations makes the value of integration of business and information strategies be difficult to establish. This is due to the conflict, which makes the overall results to from the integration to be unfavorable. Therefore, for effective performance of business and information strategies, the parties must be heavily dependent on each other with mutual understanding to enhance positive returns. However, such perfect conditions are not possible in most organizations.
Business architecture can serve as a workable solution to the challenges emanating from the integration of business and information strategy in an organization. Business architecture is comprised of the documents and figures or diagram describing the architectural design of the business. Business architects build business architectures in a manner that is customized according to the unique characteristics of the business (Gromoff, et al., 2012). This ensures success of the business through focusing on all the necessary goals and objectives of the business. It is also necessary to note that business architects play an independent role and are not likely to be influenced by the management of the organization.
Business architecture is vital in enhancing performance through reporting to the highest authorities in the business including the CEO, the BOG and the shareholders through the Annual General Meetings (Drnevick & Croson, 2013). This reduces the chances of disputes within the business, which may arise from the slower level managers. Business architects also integrate the ideas of different unit executives in making comprehensive decisions. For instance, the functional model of a business architecture is vital in aligning business goal. This is through creating a diagrammatic illustration of how different functions of the business should work together for mutual benefits. The functional business architecture also provides a greater scope of viewing the business. This is vital in ensuring technology supports different functions of the organization through integrating different processes, exchanging of data, integration of different systems and facilitating infrastructure (Cuenca, et al., 2011).
The use of business architecture is vial in giving a comprehensive picture of what the organization plans to achieve. Furthermore, it gives elaborate mechanisms of articulating how the business will grow, the current and new business functions and the functional parts of the business, which are outsourced among others. Business architecture is also vital in doing away with obsolete functional subsets of the organization, which are eliminated for effective performance of the business. Business motivation is also a type of business architecture, which can act as workable solutions to the challenges emanating from integrating business and information strategies (Chen, et al., 2010). It is necessary to note that business motivation strategy’s fundamental objective is to link different functions of the enterprise in a manner that enables absolute synergy, which is key to goal congruence within the organization.
Business motivation model as a strategic business architecture involve dividing the entire business into drivers, which have specific goals set for achievement of overall business objectives. This is through focusing in business motivations, which integrate different business units to enhance delivering of the business visions in an effective manner. In addition, it also enables every subset of the business gets adequate support from the business to enhance achievement of overall objectives (Cuenca, et al., 2011). This will enhance achievement of business goals without conflicts associated with integration of business and information strategies. Finally, business capability models are also vital in elaborating the capabilities of different functions of the organization in terms of processes, functions and services to enhance goal congruence. The decisions resulting from this model are largely dependent on the general strategic focus of the organization.
Mapping out is the process of planning the effectiveness of the business architecture before it is put into practice. This is the practice of diagnosing how the business architectural models can work effectively for the organization in ensuring the organization achieves its objectives (Drnevick & Croson, 2013). Therefore, mapping out will be through comparing the results before implementation of the architectural models and after its implementation. This will be vital in the identification of changes, which have resulted from the implementation of business architectural strategies. The reduction of conflicts arising from the integration of business and informational strategies will also be useful as a method of mapping the effectiveness of business architecture (Bouwsman, et al., 2011). This is through the resolution of challenges, which are evident in the integration of business and information strategies.
Concisely, integration of business and informational strategies is vital facilitating the functioning of the organization through making the management and informational needs count in the achievements of short and long-term objectives. It is necesary in integrating informational objectives into the managerial activities of the organization. However, it has several limitations resulting from the conflicts, which are between the informational and managerial departments. The conflicts further lead to failure to achieve the objectives of the organization, which are detrimental to organizational performance. The solutions to the challenges are through implementation of business architectural model, which ensure effective synergy of all functions of the business towards achievement of overall goals.
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