A symbolic model for the enterprise integration of information technology through strategic alignment
The widespread recognition of Information Technology (IT) as either an agent of enterprise transformation or as a driver of new enterprise forms is due to several factors. Grove (1996) and Lewis (2000) suggests that chief amongst them is the ceaseless and pace of change in both the qualitative and quantitative nature of IT with its use at every level of the enterprise hierarchy, This research study analyses the rise and fall of strategic IT planning tools and with an aim to achieve business impact. The study identifies new approaches for achieving alignment, by considering the concept of the `adaptive enterprise. ' Impact factors are developed from previous research studies covering effectiveness, efficiency, user needs, synergy and market competitiveness. Adaptation behaviours are derived from studies performed by Haekel (1999) with enterprise cultures types researched developed by Trompenaars (2000). Hypothesis aimed at investigating the relationships between these factors are then derived. Initial complex statistical analysis reveal limited significances in the enterprises capability of interpreting and actioning IT solutions effectively to deliver improvements in competitiveness, and derive both internal and external synergy (collaboration), respectively. The research conducted then takes a new path, discovering a new 'middle ground' between reductionist and holistic approaches. For example, Chia (1998) proposes that IT research has tended to focus on the consequences of IT with models based on attempts to algorithmically compress the elements of an enterprise, implying modelling is a reductionist approach. This research discovers new areas of adaptation behaviours and the associated the need to balance the polarisation of views between internal communities of enterprises it also suggests optimum adaptation conditions for both fulfilment and project driven cultures. The research study concludes with implications and suggestions for new approaches and tools to assist IT researchers and consultancy organisations.