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A service driven method for evaluating business and IT alignment

Alghamdi, H. A. (2018) A service driven method for evaluating business and IT alignment. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00084956


The adoption of Information Technology (IT) in organisations has brought significant benefits to business operations. However, achieving business and IT alignment has been and continues to be a major challenge for researchers and practitioners. The rapid changes in business and IT environments and the influence of social aspects on the business value generated by IT have contributed to its increased complexity. In order to be aware of the state of this alignment, organisations are advised to conduct a business and IT alignment assessment. The outcomes of such assessments provide a platform to achieve a better state of business-aligned IT. However, existing methodological approaches to evaluate business and IT alignment at the operational level have lacked the involvement of social values, to be balanced with other tangible values, as factors in the alignment assessment. Addressing this issue is the motivation for this research. Guided by the Design Science Research (DSR) paradigm, the Business and IT Alignment Assessment Method (B-ITAAM) is developed as the main research contribution. B-ITAAM comprises, in a novel approach, a set of business analysis techniques that assist for a comprehensive business-aligned IT assessment. Principles and concepts from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives have been adopted to form the theoretical foundations upon which the assessment method is based. As such, concepts from Strategic Management are adopted to establish a link between the strategic and operational levels of an organisation to guide the alignment assessment. Principles from Socio Technical Systems and Organisational Semiotics form the basis for eliciting social values from relevant stakeholders influencing the value of business and IT. Additionally, principles from Service-Oriented Architecture and Enterprise Architecture enable the evaluation method to be service driven. Finally, principles from Task Technology Fit and Social Exchange theories support, respectively, the establishment and assessment of the business and IT alignment. B-ITAAM was applied in a higher education institution to evaluate its viability as an effective business and IT alignment assessment method. The application resulted in a set of recommendations that aim to enhance the alignment of a set of business and IT services offered by the institution, which received appraisal from nine experts involved in the institution. The application also reveals the complexity of the business and IT alignment assessment in the higher education sector, which, until now, has received little attention in business and IT alignment research.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Sun, L.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Computer Science
ID Code:84956


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