I-Fit: Optimizing the Fit between Business and IT

I-Fit: Optimizing the Fit between Business and IT

Alea Fairchild (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Martin Smits (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Piet Ribbers (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Erik van Geel (KZA BV, The Netherlands) and Geert Snijder (KZA BV, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-008-0.ch012
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This document summarizes the initial findings of the I-Fit research project that started in August 2006 as a joint activity of a regional ICT consultancy and a university research center. The main goal of the project is to help the consultants to improve alignment between business and IT in the client organizations. The I-Fit project takes the perspective of the business manager: how a business manager can influence and increase the value of the IT services that he receives. Based on the literature on strategic alignment and Information quality, we develop the I-Fit model. The model assumes causal relationships between IT governance, Strategic Alignment, Information Quality, and Business Performance in an organization.
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Introduction To I-Fit Project And Its Objectives

The I-Fit research project is a joint effort between KZA and Tilburg University and aims to further develop the alignment model.

The objectives of the I-Fit project are: To predict the impact of the business environment on the IT function in an organization, and to identify and manage the factors that influence the Information services in an organization.

The starting point of both the I-Fit project (and this chapter) is the well-known Strategic Alignment Model (Parker, Benson, & Trainer, 1989; Henderson & Venkatraman, 1991). Strategic alignment, or “business-IT alignment,” intends to support the integration of IT into business strategy. The classic “Strategic Alignment Model” distinguishes between the business domain (business strategy and business processes) and the technology domain (information strategy and IT processes, including systems development and maintenance) in an organization.

The I-Fit project focuses on three issues: identifying the key alignment processes, identifying performance indicators for alignment processes, and developing methods to improve alignment.

The deliverables of the I-Fit project include instruments or tools:

  • 1.

    To provide insight for business managers in the IT consequences of decisions on Information services,

  • 2.

    To support business managers to control Information services, based on alignment processes, and

  • 3.

    To design strategies for the IT domain in order to maximize IT value added for the business, and (possibly) for benefits management.

This chapter summarizes the first three building blocks (Information Quality1, alignment, and Business Performance (Figure 1)) for the creation of these tools. We briefly discuss two case studies within the project, and conclude with a generic framework addressing the relations between IT governance, Alignment Processes, Information Quality, and Business Performance. We also discuss the next steps of this I-Fit project for interested readers.

Figure 1.

Building blocks for the I-Fit project

Note: The arrows indicate some possible relations between alignment, information quality and business performance

Literature Review

Information Quality

Our work is based on Roest (1988), Van der Pijl (1994a, 1994b), and Vermeer (1999) and denotes a typical Dutch or European perspective on information management. In this perspective, the quality of information (coming from information systems) is the key issue to explain business success. The USA approach differs since it aims to explain business success not by focusing on information, but on information technology and information systems.

The well-accepted definition of information quality is “the degree to which information is fit for use” or “fitness for purpose” (Klobas, 1995). Therefore, information quality on the highest level can simply be determined by asking for user satisfaction. However, this does not provide insight into the origins of quality failures. To analyze the origins, information Quality can be determined in two distinct ways, also known as the teleological and the causal perspective (Van der Pijl, 1994a) (Figure 2 shows these two perspectives). In the I-Fit project we use these two perspectives to determine the quality of information.

Figure 2.

Causal and teleological perspectives on quality of information

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Wim Van Grembergen
Aileen Cater-Steel
Aileen Cater-Steel
Chapter 1
Sherrena Buckby, Peter Best, Jenny Stewart
This chapter introduces current and prior IT governance literature across five key focus areas being strategic alignment of business and IT systems... Sample PDF
The Current State of Information Technology Governance Literature
Chapter 2
Junghoon Lee, Changjin Lee
Domestic and global companies are increasingly using information and communication technologies as a means of delivering their strategic visions and... Sample PDF
IT Governance-Based IT Strategy and Management: Literature Review and Future Research Directions
Chapter 3
David Musson
This chapter reviews the IT governance literature. It proposes that there are three different concepts that are grouped together as IT governance.... Sample PDF
IT Governance: A Critical Review of the Literature
Chapter 4
Jyotirmoyee Bhattacharjya, Vanessa Chang
This chapter introduces key IT governance concepts and industry standards and explores their adoption and implementation in the higher education... Sample PDF
Adoption and Implementation of IT Governance: Cases from Australian Higher Education
Chapter 5
Lynne Gerke, Gail Ridley
This chapter examines the potential to use an audit program based on the Control Objectives for Information and related Technologies (CobiT)... Sample PDF
Tailoring CobiT for Public Sector IT Audit: An Australian Case Study
Chapter 6
Tony C. Shan, Winnie W. Hua
This chapter defines a methodical approach, named Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering (CARE), to effectively manage the... Sample PDF
Comprehensive Architecture Rationalization and Engineering
Chapter 7
Junghoon Lee, Jungwoo Lee, Ja Young Lee
Research has recently begun to place greater emphasis on the strategic application of IT in seeking to integrate firms’ IT infrastructures and... Sample PDF
A Comparative Case Study of Three Korean Firms: Applying an IT Governance Framework
Chapter 8
Breanna O’Donohue, Graeme Pye, Matthew J. Warren
This chapter focuses upon the Australian Standard for the Corporate Governance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) AS8015 (Standards... Sample PDF
The Impact of ICT Governance within Australian Companies
Chapter 9
Mark Toleman, Aileen Cater-Steel, Brian Kissell, Rob Chown, Michael Thompson
Acting upon the recommendations of a review of information and communications technology (ICT) governance and services at USQ, a major restructure... Sample PDF
Improving ICT Governance: A Radical Restructure Using CobiT and ITIL
Chapter 10
Brian Cusack
Security is a subprocess that affects all processes within an organization structure. The control frameworks of CobiT and ITIL provide a mapping of... Sample PDF
Managing IT Security Relationships within Enterprise Control Frameworks
Chapter 11
Michael A. Borth, Randy V. Bradley
This chapter discusses the overall importance of both corporate and IT governance, and demonstrates that IT governance is a very important... Sample PDF
Unexplored Linkages between Corporate Governance and IT Governance: An Evaluation and Call to Research
Chapter 12
Alea Fairchild, Martin Smits, Piet Ribbers, Erik van Geel, Geert Snijder
This document summarizes the initial findings of the I-Fit research project that started in August 2006 as a joint activity of a regional ICT... Sample PDF
I-Fit: Optimizing the Fit between Business and IT
Chapter 13
Tobias Kollmann, Matthias Häsel
This chapter articulates the knowledge and skills required by IT professionals in young Internet-based firms. Building on the general IT governance... Sample PDF
Competence of Information Technology Professionals in Internet-Based Ventures
Chapter 14
G. Philip Rogers
This chapter assesses what role maturity models can play in enterprise IT governance. Frameworks that are well known in the IT industry, such as the... Sample PDF
The Role of Maturity Models in IT Governance: A Comparison of the Major Models and Their Potential Benefits to the Enterprise
Chapter 15
Yael Dubinsky, Avi Yaeli, Yishai Feldman, Emmanuel Zarpas, Gil Nechushtai
Governance is the exercise of control and direction over a subject such as a society, an organization, processes, or artifacts, by using laws and... Sample PDF
Governance of Software Development: The Transition to Agile Scenario
Chapter 16
Anne C. Rouse
This chapter considers the governance issues raised by the increasing use of external parties to supply IT resources (including packaged enterprise... Sample PDF
The Governance Implications When it is Outsourced
Chapter 17
Muralidharan Ramakrishnan
This chapter is intended primarily for managers who are preparing to implement portfolio management concepts in an organization and students of IT... Sample PDF
IT Portfolio Management: A Pragmatic Approach to Implement IT Governance
Chapter 18
Andrew Dowse, Edward Lewis
With the cost, complexity and risk associated with IT systems, the approach to IT governance and service management in many organizations is to... Sample PDF
Applying Organizational Theories to Realize Adaptive IT Governance and Service Management
Chapter 19
Jon Iden
This chapter presents and analyzes a real life ITIL project, and it is based on a longitudinal case study. The purpose is to illustrate how the ITIL... Sample PDF
Implementing IT Service Management: Lessons Learned from a University IT Department
Chapter 20
Neil McBride
This chapter describes a suggested model for developing a service strategy within IT services. It considers the context, the organization of IT... Sample PDF
A Model for IT Service Strategy
Chapter 21
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Rory O’Connor, Francisco Alvarez, Jorge Macías-Luévano
This chapter develops a descriptive-conceptual overview of the main models and standards of processes formulated in the systems engineering (SE)... Sample PDF
An Overview of Models and Standards of Processes in the SE, SwE, and IS Disciplines
Chapter 22
Claus-Peter Praeg, Dieter Spath
This chapter introduces an IT-Service management framework for the use of quality management concepts in the context of the life cycle phases of... Sample PDF
Perspectives of IT-Service Quality Management: A Concept for Life Cycle Based Quality Management of IT-Services
Chapter 23
Chee Ing Tiong, Aileen Cater-Steel, Wui-Gee Tan
This study reviews literature related to financial metrics that organizations could use in measuring the return on investment from their adoption of... Sample PDF
Measuring Return on Investment from Implementing ITIL: A Review of the Literature
Chapter 24
Dirk Malzahn
This chapter describes how models for software development and service delivery can be integrated into a common approach to reach an integrated... Sample PDF
Integrated Product Life Cycle Management for Software: CMMI1, SPICE, and ISO/IEC 20000
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