Can ITIL Contribute to IT/Business Alignment?

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Authors: R. Kashanchi, J. Toland

Publication Year: 2006


Journal: Wirtschaftsinformatik

Volume: 48

Issue: 5

Categories: Information Management, Strategy


Organizations have realized that in order to achieve competitive advantage, IT needs to be strategically aligned with business objectives. This study attempts to provide insight on the matter by introducing an initiative called Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) that ensures the effective and efficient delivery of IT services. Overall, the existing body of literature along with an empirical study has investigated the following research question: “How effective is ITIL in aligning IT with business objectives”? The results of this exploratory research indicate that ITIL is an effective method of aligning IT with business objectives: Strategic alignment is achieved by enhancing the communication between IT and business, as well as improving service delivery to business. ITIL breaks down barriers and enables people in an organization to share knowledge. ITIL has the ability to support business strategy, improve IT strategy and competency and impact significantly on organizational infrastructure. It provides consistency in the way things can be done throughout the organization. It improves quality of services as well as availability of services, which results in having more satisfied customers and gaining competitive advantage.

Critical Reflection

I find this article interesting because I worked with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) before. This paper is a study on how effective and how successful ITIL is in improving alignment between IT and business objectives. The authors identify Strategic alignment as the main concerns of management and IT executives. IT needs to be strategically aligned with business objectives. Strategic alignment enables organizations to choose IT applications that meet their needs and as a result, to enhance their profitability and reduce costs. This paper introduces a study on the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM). SAM consists of four parts: IT strategy; business strategy; organizational infrastructure and processes; and IS infrastructure and processes. In the Study the authors placed ITIL in the internal domain of the model. ITIL was substituted for the IS infrastructure and processes part, it has been identified that it has the ability to impact the other three main areas of the model and as result enables alignment between all the four parts of model to be achieved. Furthermore the authors of this paper interviewed four companies which have already implemented ITIL. The results of the interview indicate that ITIL has potential as an effective approach in achieving alignment. I believe the article is relevant for the lecture Information Management and Organizational Change because ITIL enables the organization to adapt better and more efficient to change. ITIL enables ICT and business alignment in a structured way.