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Richard Bricknall 2005-10-01

Litterature seminar 2

Base litterature task
October Book/Article 1. John Ward and Joe Peppard, Strategic Planning for Information Systems, Third Edition , John Wiley & Sons, 2002, Chapters 4-6 2. Henderson and Venkatraman, Strategic alignment :Leveraging information technology for transforming organisations, IBM Systems Journal, Vol.36, Nos. 2&3, 1999 3. Claudio Ciborra, De Profundis? Deconstructing the concept of strategic alignment, Scandinavian Journal of information systems, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1997. 4. Michael Earl, Experiences in strategic information systems planning, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1993 A Strategy formulation contra strategy realisation, which is the most important and how should they fit together. B Which is Ciborras most relevant argument against “strategic alignment”? What arguments speak for alignment and which speak against it? C Which of Michael Earl’s strategy approaches are similar to how you pursue strategy development at CSC. Give a short description of your way of working.

Strategy formulation results in three main components of IS strategy. Firstly an analysis of the existing and expected future business and IS/IT environments ands strategies. Secondly the requirements arising from the current business strategy and thirdly the future potential IS/IT provides by identifying opportunities to support and achieve the business strategy and increase its competitive edge. This work is driven by the business managers with support of IT managers. In itself this process is an extremely important one simply for the fact that it increases the understanding between business and IT of the problems and opportunities the other has to solve. Henderson and Venkatraman identify the concept of strategic alignment being built on the building blocks of strategic fit and functional integration and that strategy should be articulated in terms internal and external components. Using their Strategic Alignment Model they identify two types of integration – strategic integration linking the external domains of business ands IT and operational integration linking the two internal domains of business and IT. These are very interesting observations because they fit all organisations in a general way but different organisations work in different ways depending on their business. The Strategic integration is one seen at SKF where the business managers mostly of a technical background, many are engineers by education, and thus are constantly looking for better innovative ways of solving problems some times to an extent that they are ahead of the IT experts who are caught up in the day to day operational environment.

This can be seen by studying the four alignment perspectives of Strategy execution, technology transformation, competitive potential and Service Level. In my experience an organisation that is business focussed and has little or less focus on IT will operate in the Strategy execution perspective because it is basically ‘business as usual’. The strategy is formed at a high level and then is implemented de facto by the organisation according to their roles which are of the more traditional nature. We met an example of such a company when we interviewed the CEO of a transport company which was a subsidiary of Green Cargo. Technology transformation is typically the domain of businesses dependant on excellent infrastructure to reach large numbers of customers such as banks, financial institutions where there is a great deal of both money and competition and thus the IT is a part of the business and thus business strategy and IT strategy are very closely linked and by implementing business strategy they are also implementing the IT strategy. Competitive potential alignment perspective is used by technology companies such as healthcare or IT Hardware and software manufacturers. In this case the company cannot exist without IT and need it to provide new product and services. Thus...
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