Business-IT Alignment Barriers in a Public Organisation: The Case of Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria

Business-IT Alignment Barriers in a Public Organisation: The Case of Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria

Gideon Mekonnen Jonathan (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Kista, Sweden), Aminat Abdul-Salaam (Department of Computer Science, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Nigeria), Omogunloye Oluwasanmi (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Kista, Sweden) and Lazar Rusu (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences Stockholm University, Kista, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJIDE.2018010101
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Abstract

Business-IT alignment (BITA) continues to attract the interest of researchers and practitioners. Literature review reveals that the focus of past studies was investigated BITA mostly at (1) strategic level, in (2) private and commercial organisations, and in (3) developed countries. Thus, making a generalisation from these findings is difficult. The current study is aimed at shading light on the barriers of BITA based on a case study in a public organisation like The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria. The data was collected through semi-structured email interviews from business and IT managers as well as IT officers and also from internal organisational documents too. The data collected has been analysed using thematic analysis and has revealed six BITA barriers at tactical and operational levels like previous IT failures, lack of feedback mechanism, organisational structure, lack of standard infrastructure, insufficient time to acquire knowledge, and poor communication between the mangers.
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Introduction

The dynamic business environment and the application of information technology (IT) has brought about a situation where the success of today’s organisations is affected by their ability to deploy the right IT infrastructure. Regardless of the industry or size of organisations, one of the important factors that separate those organisations who succeed from others that struggle is an effective and efficient business-IT alignment (BITA) in the way IT supports business strategies and processes (Silvius, 2008). BITA which has been described and defined in various ways by authors has attracted the attention of researchers and practitioners. However, the commonly agreed aim of BITA is towards finding a way on how information technology can be used to improve organisational capabilities. Earlier studies referred BITA as a phenomenon where the business and IT plans are linked. For instance, Hendersen & Venkatraman (1993) have described BITA as the degree of fit and integration among business and IT strategies as well as business and IT infrastructures. On the other hand, researchers like Campbell, Kay & Avison (2005) and Chan & Reich (2007) refer to BITA as a condition characterised by a collaboration between business and IT to achieve organisational goal. Even though achieving BITA is proved to be challenging, several studies have confirmed its significance and role in improving organisational performance. For instance, Chan (2002); Irani (2002); Kearns & Ledrer (2003) have found that organisations that manage to align their IT and business strategies outperform those who failed to reach BITA. These findings warranty a continued study in the area. According to Chan & Reich (2007) and Coltman, Tallon, Sharma & Queiroz (2015) there is a growing interest of researchers and practitioners towards BITA. However, the findings of these studies have shown that the settings in which these studies were carried out is narrow. Many researchers have argued that only a few BITA studies have investigated public organisations (Enagi & Ochoehe, 2013; Mohammad, 2009). In fact, according to Walser, Christen, Maag & Regli (2016) the new developments in IT and the need for organisational change in public organisations has become an important issue which has provoked discussions among customers, suppliers, employees as well as leaders. Moreover, in their opinion BITA in public organisations has not garnered the attention of researchers. Furthermore, according to Chan & Reich (2007) the presence of wide variety of variables that could influence BITA makes it important to carryout studies in different organisational and business environment settings. Therefore, this study has looked to address the lack of research on BITA in public organisational settings. To address this problem the following research question is formulated: What are the factors that are hindering BITA at tactical and operational levels in a public organisation in a developing country?

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