Prioritising and Linking Business Goals and IT Goals in the Financial Sector

Prioritising and Linking Business Goals and IT Goals in the Financial Sector

Steven De Haes (University of Antwerp – Antwerp Management School, Belgium) and Wim Van Grembergen (University of Antwerp – Antwerp Management School, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1779-7.ch008
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In today’s complex and constantly changing business world, business/IT alignment is high on the agenda of executive management. To achieve such alignment, it is important that an organization should have a clearly established corporate mission and a well-defined support strategy and business goals. Furthermore, the translation into and linkage with the company’s IT strategy and goals must be carefully planned. However, these requirements appear to be rather difficult to meet in reality, so that companies must often look for additional practical guidance in identifying their principal business and IT goals, as well as in determining how these should be geared to one another. Therefore, a series of research steps has been designed for the purpose of providing pragmatic assistance in defining a cascade of business goals and supporting IT goals. This paper presents the results of a Delphi study conducted in the financial sector. It offers qualitative information on how to establish a firm set of business objectives, IT goals and their interrelationships. In addition, it provides some recommendations on how to adapt and fine-tune the proposed procedure with a view to either complementing the results or replicating them for other sectors of industry.
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Today, IT is more critical to a business than ever (ITGI, 2006). It is moving away from being a cost-only factor to constituting a service that actually contributes to achieving a company’s business objectives. Both academic research and business experience have identified business/IT alignment, also known as strategic alignment, as a positive driver for optimising business performance (Henderson & Venkatraman, 1993; Teo & King, 1996; Sabberwal & Chan, 2001; Byrd et Al., 2005). However, understanding strategic alignment and successfully implementing it in an organisation remains one of the major challenges in IT and business management. Numerous articles have been written on strategic alignment, but research in this field suggests a lot of work remains to be done in order to improve the strategic fit between IT and business (Chan, 2002; Luftman, 1999; Reich, 1996).

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