The information system (IS) technology has become one of the most valuable assets of the contemporary organizations and businesses. Information systems is a set of integrated components that are meant to collect, process, store and disseminate essential data that would be helpful in decision making, coordination, analysis, and control of resources in a corporate setting (Babaei & Beikzad, 2013). Today, the success of any business depends on the manner in which they manage their information systems ensuring that all resources are in the right place and quantity at the desired time. However, despite information systems being a powerful tool that would increase productivity in a business, they are several problems associated with the network. In my past employment opportunity management information system was implemented to support management decision but it regularly failed due to misalignment of organizational and IS strategies. The paper will, therefore, discuss inadequate alignment of IS with business objectives as one of the primary problems associated with the system leading to low efficiency or failure of businesses.
Misalignment of Business and Information System Strategies
Due to business complexities and dynamics aligning information systems to business objectives have been a challenging task. The term alignment in this consent describes the extent information systems have a positive relationship and support organizational goals and strategies as outlined in a business plan. The business-IS alignment has been an area of interest for decades among researchers and practitioners but they have been emphasizing more on ways to achieving the alignment (Bartra, 2016). However, there is a little contribution on means to promptly identify and correct misalignment which would address failures associated with information systems. Businesses with misaligned business-IS integration have common symptoms, which include conflict of interests and inability of a business to meets its optimum potential. Likewise, decision making takes too long decreasing the momentum needed for growth and attaining a competitive advantage over business competitors. Different departments also tend to work separately, which negatively affect communication networks and sharing of essential information.
The recommendation of business-IS strategy alignment should be through both formal and informal structures. The formal structures involve intellectual and strategic variables while informal structures include cultural and social dimensions. According to an intellectual aspect, a business should have a documented structure outlining the relationship between information technology plan and business strategy (Bartra, 2016). The connection should be such that the business and information system networks complement and match each other. On the other hand, the social aspects of IS strategic alignment refer to the manner in which information technology executives and organizational managers understand and commit themselves to business plans.
Similar to the development of a business strategy, re-instilling strategies and correcting misalignment requires resources and time. Aligning the organizational vision, values, people, and information systems are among the most suitable way of resolving the menace of misaligned strategies. However, the process requires commitment and should start with integrating the administration department with the system. For effectiveness and to incorporate every stakeholder in the dynamic process, it is recommendable for a business to have a well-defined bottom-up strategic approach. The bottom-up approach would enable the corporate to take advantage of their skilled and talented employees by encouraging them to communicate their innovative ideas. Consequently, every stakeholder is incorporated into the system reducing cases of conflict of interest in the organization.
Optimizing communication between executive and information technology managers would also improve the decision-making process. The executive officers make managerial resolutions while IT managers oversee the technical operations of the business. The involvement of managerial, technical and employees influence in the formulation of a business plan would bridge the gap among the involved parties (El-Telbany & Elragal, 2014). As a result, a business would design an organizational structure and process that promotes IT sustainability extended to business strategies and objectives.
Additionally, outlining organizational governance is also among the procedures a business would incorporate to resolve business-IS misalignment. In this case, governance refers to management and regulations put in place to oversee accomplishment of business goals. Mostly, business executives have little knowledge of technology while technical staffs do not fully understand the needs of a business. The management and technicians cannot agree on the suitable alignment mechanism to implement. Therefore there is a need to have a Chief Information Officer (CIO) who would make decisions on aligning business and information systems strategies (El-Telbany & Elragal, 2014). The officer would ensure prompt response to changes and continuous production of the information system.
In conclusion, based on the history, system analysis and trends in information technology all business has been integrating are to their structures. In fact, IS in a business setting is an essential resource meant to enhance decision making, productivity, and attain competitive advantage in various industries. As a result, there is the continuous production of quality products at relative cost. Likewise, the replacement of traditional and obsolete techniques with emerging technologies have been effective with minimal conflict of interest. Lastly, the management has developed confidence in the information system departments and have been involving them in business planning.
Babaei, M., & Beikzad, J. (2013). Management information system, challenges, and `solutions. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences: Proceedings, 2(3 (s), pp-374.
Bartra, S. (2016). Challenges in Business and IT Alignment. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/panditvidur/challenges-in-business-and-it-alignment
El-Telbany, O., & Elragal, A. (2014). Business-information systems strategies: A focus on misalignment. Procedia Technology, 16, 250-262.
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