Business and IT Alignment in Dutch Vocational Education and Training Organizations

By Silvius, Gilbert A. J.; de Waal, Benny M. E. | Communications of the IIMA, January 2010 | Go to article overview

Business and IT Alignment in Dutch Vocational Education and Training Organizations


Silvius, Gilbert A. J., de Waal, Benny M. E., Communications of the IIMA


INTRODUCTION

Information technology (IT) has changed the way organizations manage their business processes, produce their products, deliver their services and communicate with (potential) customers (Brynjolfsson & Hitt, 2000). A key success factor in organizations is therefore an effective and efficient alignment of the way IT supports business strategies and processes. The necessity and desirability of aligning business needs and IT capabilities has been examined in numerous articles (Pyburn, 1983; Reich & Benbasat, 1996; Chan, Huff, Barclay, & Copeland, 1997; Luftman & Brier, 1999; Maes, Rijsenbrij, Truijens, & Goedvolk, 2000; Sabherwal & Chan, 2001) and its importance is well recognized (Cumps, Viaene, Dedene, & Vandenbulcke, 2006). The alignment of business and IT, however, continues to show up as a top concern for business and IT managers (Society of Information Management, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). Some authors expect that "alignment is even more problematic in the idiosyncratic context of (higher) education" (Albrecht, Bender, Katz, Pirani, Salaway, Sitko, & Voloudakis, 2004). This expectation finds support in Luftman and Kempaiah's study (2007) in 197 organizations, which ranks education as the lowest scoring industry sector on alignment maturity. Given the opportunity that IT offers in teaching and learning (Gilbert, 1994; Geoghegan, 1994), this position should be worrying.

This paper reports a study into business and IT alignment maturity in Dutch secondary vocational education and training organizations. As the role of IT in these organizations is expanding into the instructional applications, the need for cooperation between education and IT department is of growing importance. As part of the professionalization of the information function in these institutions, this study was conducted into the maturity of alignment between the educational organization and the IT department. In order to be able to outline a development path for a growth in maturity, the study both assessed the current or as-is level of alignment, as the desired, to-be level.

The rest of this paper is structured as follows. After a brief introduction into the concept of business and IT alignment and the maturity assessment model, the related literature on alignment in educational institutions will be reviewed. Next, the context of the study will be set, by introducing the vocational and education training sector in the Netherlands and the results of the study will be presented. The paper will conclude by formulating some conclusions and suggestions for follow-up.

BUSINESS AND IT ALIGNMENT

Business and IT Alignment (BIA) can be defined as "Business & IT Alignment is the degree to which the IT applications, infrastructure and organization, the business strategy and processes enables and shapes, as well as the process to realize this." (Silvius, 2007). An influential conceptualization of BIA is that of Henderson and Venkatraman (1993). Their widespread framework of alignment, known as the Strategic Alignment Model (Figure 1), describes BIA along two dimensions. The dimension of strategic fit differentiates between external focus, directed towards the business environment, and internal focus, directed towards administrative structures. The other dimension of functional integration separates business and IT. Altogether, the model defines four domains that have been harmonized in order to achieve alignment. Each of these domains has its constituent components: scope, competencies, governance, infrastructure, processes and skills.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Despite of the apparent importance of aligning IT and business, the majority of publications is rather vague in terms of how to practice alignment (Maes et al. 2000). A frequently used framework (1) for measuring or developing alignment is Luftman's alignment maturity model (Luftman, 2000). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Business and IT Alignment in Dutch Vocational Education and Training Organizations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.