Value-Based Business-IT Alignment in Networked Constellations of Enterprises
Publication Year: 2005
Categories: Organizational Change
Business-ICT alignment is the problem of matching ICT- services with the requirements of the business. In businesses of any significant size, business-ICT alignment is a hard problem, which is currently not solved completely. With the advent of networked constellations of enterprises, the prob- lem gets a new dimension, because in such a network, there is not a single point of authority for making decisions about ICT support to solve conflicts in requirements these various enterprises may have. Network constellations exist when different businesses decide to cooperate by means of ICT networks, but they also exist in large corporations, which often consist of nearly independent business units, and thus have no single point of authority anymore. In this position paper we discuss the need for several solution techniques to address the problem of business-ICT alignment in net- worked constellations. Such techniques include:
RE techniques to describe networked value constella- tions requesting and offering ICT services as economic value. These techniques should allow reasoning about the matching of business needs with available ICT ser- vices in the constellation. RE techniques to design a networked ICT architecture that supports ICT services required by the business, taking the value offered by those services, and the costs incurred by the architecture, into account. Models of decision processes about ICT services and their architecture, and maturity models of those pro- cesses.
The paper deals with the topic Business-ICT alignment, a topic which we discussed at the beginning the beginning of the lecture Information management and organizational change. The paper describes an ongoing research which can be found here. The authors are working with several consulting firms and partners on case studies to use the developed VITAL framework in practice. According to the article Business –ICT alignment is the problem of matching ICT services with the requirements of the business. A problem of today is that most business cannot be viewed a single enterprises with a single point of authority but as business with multiple enterprises and with multiple points of authorities, in the article described as networked value constellation. To solve the problem of networked value constellation the authors developed a research framework called VITAL.
VITAL-model The research focuses on 3 areas:
Area 1 VITAL/services. The authors developed techniques to describe ICT services as economic value objects from a consumer (i.e. business) perspective and investigate ways to match these services in a value-oriented way with ICT services described from a supplier (i.e. ICT) perspective. Area 2: VITAL/design. The authors developed techniques to design networked ICT architecture that supports services required by the business, taking the value offered by those services, and the costs incurred by the architecture, into account. Area 3: VITAL/maturity. The authors developed models of decision processes about ICT services and their architecture, and develop maturity models of those processes. To get more inside and a better understanding of the presented model and research it would be interesting to see the case studies that the research team has announced in the paper. According to the article the case studies will be published in the future. While reading the paper I had a closer look at the Life cycle component described in the framework, compare added figure. I had the impression that it is maybe possible to link or integrate the Adaptive Cycle to this model. If a business can go through the Adaptive Cycle maybe the IT can too. The research is done at the University of Twente. More information on the VITAL-project can be found on there webside.