6th International Workshop on BUSinness/IT ALignment and Interoperability (BUSITAL 2011)

Held on 20th June 2011 in conjunction with CAiSE’2011 (20-24 June 2011) London, UK

Continuous growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the impact of these technologies on the modern economy, environment, and social life are difficult to underestimate. ICT-enabled innovations provide organizations with new efficient mechanisms for communication, information sharing, resource management and planning, and help them to explore new market opportunities. Nowadays, a sustainable competitive advantage is strictly related to capabilities of organizations to anticipate the constantly evolving business and technological environment, where interoperability issues are key success factors at different levels (strategic, organizational, infrastructural). Information systems have to support these evolutionary challenges while preserving the alignment between business strategies, business processes, and application portfolios. We identify six types of alignment essential for organization sustainability, illustrated in the following figure:

Types of organization alignment. An arrow between domains stands for an alignment type.

Multiple approaches to establish and validate alignment are discussed in the business and academic publications: the prevailing ones are top-down, they start from the business requirements of an organization and tend to define an ideal business processes and the supporting application portfolio that would fully satisfy these requirements. On the other hand, many practitioners acknowledge the need of the bottom-up or hybrid approaches for alignment maintenance and validation, which would take into account the constraints, related to the business processes and the ICT infrastructure on-place and propose realistic solutions.

Nowadays, quite a few of the existing models of strategic alignment come from the Management of Information systems (MIS) research area. These models study the impact of alignment on the organizations performance and allow for the elaboration of predictive models of the influence of alignment and misalignment. Nevertheless, these types of models do not allow the systemic view which is needed in IS engineering to support requirement analyses and elicitation.

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