Islem Gmati
and Selmin Nurcan
Université Paris 1- Panthéon Sorbonne
Centre de Recherche en Informatique
90, rue de Tolbiac 75634, Paris cedex 13, France
IAE de Paris (Sorbonne Business School) – Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne
21, rue Broca 75005, Paris, France
Keywords: Strategic alignment, evolving environment, information system flexibility and evolution capacities.
Abstract: In order to provide a competitive advantage to the enterprise, the business strategy and processes and its
information system (IS) need to be aligned. Achieving strategic alignment continues to be a major concern
for business executives and becomes more difficult to handle in an evolving environment. The literature
provides conceptual frameworks dividing a company representation in independent and exchanging layers
and aiming at the strategic alignment. In this paper, we describe eight among these works. Aiming a better
understanding of the Business/IS alignment requirements, we propose an analysis framework, in which we
position the studied approaches, and we bring out the most important results related to the forces and
weaknesses of these approaches.
Today, organizations evolve in a competitive and
changing environment that can be at the origin of
factors or forces, which oblige them to change. Thus,
to survive and to remain competitive, a company has
to evolve in adequacy with its environment.
In the course of time, we noted that organizations
change their processes and their strategy to respond to
constraints of the environment, but their information
systems remain often unchanged. However, an
organization cannot work efficiently if it does not
have a coherent information system (IS). Thus the
problem of the strategic alignment arose often when
the need to make “move” the IS in phase with the
strategy of the company is identified. Indeed, in a
quickly evolving environment, companies have to
adapt constantly their IS in order to comply more
effectively with the constraints of new technologies,
new needs and/or new rules. Moreover, it is not
possible to stop the IS to build another one, it should
rather evolve in a continuous way in order to remain
in correspondence with the organization strategy. We
can talk about the flexibility and the evolution
capacities of the IS.
Furthermore, change often influences the
organization as a whole, from company strategy to the
business processes and the IS. To remain competitive
in changing environments, it is very important that
companies align their IS on their organizational
processes, their goals and their strategies (Campbell et
al. 2004). Even if the interest of the alignment is
widely recognized, its realization remains too often
limited. Few leaders consider that the IS and the
processes of their organization are aligned (Adams et
al. 2003). Luftman and Maclean (2004) identifies two
main causes: (i) the actors of the organization do not
know what the alignment is and (ii) there is an
absence of communication and understanding
between the world of the business and that of
information technologies (IT).
For a comprehensive study of the alignment
requirements, we developed a framework based on
four perspectives called also worlds (Jarke et al.,
1990). Each world is characterized using facets,
which are composed of attributes. Nevertheless, we
point out that only the perspectives and the structure
of the framework are generic. Facets and attributes
were defined for the purpose of this study. They
characterize the requirements that we identified as
essential for analyzing and comparing the Business/IS
alignment methods, approaches or frameworks. Our
long-term research objective is to enhance the IS
Gmati I. and Nurcan S. (2007).
In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - ISAS, pages 401-409
DOI: 10.5220/0002362504010409
engineering approaches and practices with those
requirements in their early phases. Section 2 presents
eight approaches on Business/IS and Business/
Strategy alignments. Section 3 presents the developed
framework and Section 4 analyzes the presented
approaches with respect to the proposed framework.
The strategy and the objectives of any enterprise are
achieved by implementing business processes (BPs)
which are supported/facilitated by the enterprise IS. It
seems not realistic to consider an organizational
change without any impact on the IS or an evolution
of the IS which does not call any change on BPs or
objectives of the enterprise (Nurcan & Edme, 2005).
Section 2.1 presents approaches from the literature
which purposes are to align the IS on the business
(more especially to its way-of functioning). These
approaches help to understand and to exploit the
relationships between the BPs and the systems that
are supposed to support and to guide their execution
Section 2.2 presents approaches that aim to specify
the links between the strategy of a company and the
implemented BPs. Finally, section 2.3 recalls the
work of Kaplan and Norton (1996) that offers a
completely different glance on various perspectives of
a company and the relationships between them. We
tried to highlight the strengths of
those approaches in
order to define the facets of our analyzis framework.
2.1 Business/IS Alignment
2.1.1 ARIS Framework
Scheer and Nuttgens (2000) present the Architecture
of Integrated Information System (ARIS) that is
composed of four interdependently connected layers:
process engineering, process planning and control,
workflow control and application systems. The
process engineering layer provides techniques for
optimizing, evaluating and ensuring the quality of
processes. Reference models provide an initial process
engineering solution and document process know-how
that can be reutilized for further modeling. The
process planning and control layer describes current
BPs based principally on the cost analysis. The first
two layers concern business managers. The workflow
control layer converts BPs into IT support and is
responsible for the execution of BPs. In the
application systems layer, information and documents
delivered to the workplaces are specifically processed.
2.1.2 The Integrated Enterprise Framework
To remain competitive, organizations must be able to
adapt quickly their way of providing services and
products when change occurs. Papazoglou and Van
den Heuvel (2000) provide a methodology which
purpose is to link enterprise models to wrapped
legacy system modules, namely BALES (binding
Business-Applications to Legacy systems)
methodology. This methodology reveals also how
such mappings can address business change
requirements. This framework contains five layers.
The business objects layer plays a central role in
capturing the semantics of business entities and
processes. The BPs layer aims to provide generic BPs
and a set of basic building blocks. The workflow layer
assigns BPs to actors, and moves the work forward
from one actor to the next. Workflow activities may
invoke components from existing applications, for
instance legacy objects, and combine them with
newly developed applications. Business objects and
BPs are oriented towards the fulfillment of business
goals. BALES prescribes a two-step approach to
incorporate business change: (i) To adapt existing
enterprise model to reflect the new business reality;
(ii) To determine a new mapping between enterprise
models and legacy systems.
2.1.3 The Approach of Longepe
Longepe (2004) distinguishes four layers of enterprise
and IS architecture: business, functional, applicative
and technical. The business architecture describes the
organization structure with regard to its business
activities. An activity constitutes a stage of a business
process and specifies the achievement of a business
goal. Functions are derived starting from the activities
and going from macro functions to elementary ones.
The latter are defined in one-to-one correspondence
with the services supported by IS. The elementary
functions are organized in the functional architecture.
Two approaches allow mapping business and
functional layers. The top down approach (i) starts
from the strategy of the company, (ii) deduces for
each business objective the BPs allowing to achieve it
and for each business activity the IS functionalities
supporting it, and (iii) defines finally the support
system. The bottom up approach starts from the
operations performed by actors and elicits the
business organization and objectives requiring those
operations. The applicative architecture allows
structuring the support system in communicating
software components. In the technical architecture,
the technical components as well as the information
(source, model, documentation,…) related to the life
cycle of the system are defined.
ICEIS 2007 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
2.1.4 The Approach of Wieringa
Wieringa et al. (2003) proposes an integrated
framework for the co-design of the BPs and the IS
architecture, in which the business and the supporting
applications form a reactive system. This work
provides a classification of system properties and
highlights the classical distinction between process
and product. The product may be an IS or an
enterprise architecture and has functional and quality
properties. The former are services offered to the
environment, and the latter characterize the value that
the system provides for its stakeholders. Three
functional properties characterize system services: (i)
the behavior aspect consists of the ordering of
services over time, (ii) the communication aspect
consists of the interactions with other entities (people,
devices, businesses, and software) during the delivery
of the service, and (iii) the semantic aspect consists of
the meaning of the symbols exchanged during the
service. In general, entities at one layer use services of
entities at lower layers and provide services to entities
at higher layers. Finally, the refinement dimension
allows describing entities belonging to a service level
at a higher level of abstraction (fewer details) or at a
higher level of refinement (more details).
2.1.5 SEAM Methodology
Wegman (2003) considers the enterprise as a complex
system which key characteristics is its continuous
evolution. A SEAM (Systemic Enterprise Architecture
Methodology) project is iterative because its
environment continuously evolves. Thus the enterprise
architecture model can be adapted to represent the
changes which occur (on the business level or the IS
level). SEAM provides three kinds of development
activities. (i) The goal of the multi-level modeling is to
produce a new model, or to modify an existing model
of the enterprise. (ii) The goal of the multi-level design
is to identify gaps between As-Is and To-Be
representations and to reduce them. (iii) The goal of the
multi-level deployment is to transform what is
described in the organizational levels for the To-Be
state in artifacts that can be executed by people or
software systems.
2.1.6 Synthesis
The main objective of the studied approaches is to
specify and to control organization in a flexible way
in order to gain the ability to adapt it to the market
conditions. All of them try to reconfigure BPs to
satisfy the environment changing requirements. To
this end, they allow to:
specify the enterprise architecture using several
layers of representation, considering that each
layer adds a new perspective (from models on
objectives and processes to executable software
components) to the higher layer but do not specify
how to map those layers,
simulate and evaluate BPs in order to improve
their efficiency,
develop links between the reconfigured processes
and the new applications built on the legacy ones
by adding new functionalities, and
suggest to decompose the support system into
loosely coupled small modules (interoperability
2.2 Business/Strategy Alignment
2.2.1 Strategic Alignment Model (SAM)
Henderson and Venkatraman (1989) developed a
model for conceptualizing the strategic management of
information technology (IT). The Strategic Alignment
Model (SAM) makes a distinction between the external
perspective of IT (IT strategy) and the internal focus of
IT (IT infrastructure and processes). The same
distinction is done for the business domain. This
implies two types of integration: (i) strategic integration
between IT (strategy) and business (strategy) which
establishes the capability of IT at a strategic level, and
(ii) operational integration between IT infrastructure
and processes and organizational internal
infrastructure and BPs. SAM proposes four domains
of strategic choice: business strategy, IT strategy,
organization infrastructure and processes, and IT
infrastructure and processes. The change cannot occur
in a field without influencing the others. The model
provides also two types of alignment: strategic fit
(between external and internal domains) and
functional integration (between business and
technology domains). Authors argue that neither
strategic nor functional integration alone is sufficient
to perform Business/Strategy alignment.
2.2.2 EKD-CMM Approach
EKD-CMM (Enterprise Knowledge Development -
Change Management Method) (Barrios & Nurcan,
2004) is a method to documenting an enterprise, its
objectives, BPs and support systems, helping
enterprises to consciously develop schemes for
implementing changes. The inter-connected set of
EKD-CMM models describing an enterprise is
structured in three layers: Enterprise Goal Model,
Enterprise Process Model and Enterprise IS Model.
The first two layers focus on intentional and
organizational aspects of the enterprise. The third
layer allows defining the requirements for an
information system. EKD-CMM satisfies two needs:
assisting enterprise knowledge modeling and
guiding the enterprise modeling and the
organizational transformation processes.
2.2.3 The Bleistein’s Approach
Bleistein et al. (2005) proposes an unified model to
enable validation of system requirements with regard
to the business strategy. The aim is to incorporate an
explicit understanding of business strategy within
requirements engineering activities as a means of
ensuring alignment between requirements for a
system and the business strategy it is intended to
support. This is based on a framework, called the
Motivation Model (proposed by the Business Rules
Group), which describes the semantics of a business
strategy and its alignment with technology without
proposing any specific means of representation.
Considering similarities between BRG-Model and I*,
Bleistein et al. applied I* to BRG-Model with the aim
of unifying the business strategy model with the
system requirements model. The approach proposes
to use a technique to analyze the business strategy
(VMOST) and to model it using a goal-oriented
notation. It also suggests using context diagrams
resulting from Jackson’s problem diagrams. The goal
model helps to ensure that requirements, at lowest
levels, are in harmony with and provide support for
objectives of the business strategy at higher levels.
Problem diagrams help to situate requirements
explicitly in the context to which they refer.
2.3 Another Vision of the Organization
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach was
developed for the strategic management at the
beginning of the 90’s in order to provide a clear
prescription of the performance measurement. The
BSC allows analyzing the organization according to
four perspectives, or axis, interconnected by “cause-
effect” relations that draw the strategy of the
The financial axis includes the long-term
objectives of the company.
The customer axis identifies the market
segments on which the company wishes to be
The internal processes axis includes the
essential BPs to implement in order to achieve
objectives of customers and shareholders.
The organizational learning axis develops
internal objectives and organizational means to
improve the satisfaction of stakeholders and to
facilitate thus facilitate the achievement of the
objectives of the three other axes.
The BSC is a frame, which allows to integrate
strategic indicators and to propose performance
determiners relative to these four axes. These
determiners lean on a translation of the organization
strategy in objectives and concrete indicators.
To build our analysis frame, we were inspired of the
work presented in (Jarke et al., 1990), (Rolland, 1998)
the “four worlds” framework. The subject world
contains the knowledge of the domain about which
the system world has to supply information. In our
case, the subject is the strategic alignment. The system
world contains the models to represent the subject
world. The usage world describes the organizational
environment of the system, i.e. the goals of the actors
and the way they use the system to carry out their
work; this world allows also analyzing the objectives
of the strategic alignment. The development world
concerns the engineering process that allows us to
build the various models of the system world. To
study and to compare the various aspects of the
studied approaches, facets characterize each world. A
facet defines a particular aspect of an approach. It is
composed of a set of attributes that allow us to clarify,
through the possible values, the position of an
approach with regard to the others. The values of
attributes can be of a predefined type (integer,
boolean …) or an enumerated type (Enum {x,y}).
3.1 The Subject World
Our universe of discourse concerns the strategic
alignment. Two facets characterize it:
A. Nature of the alignment: it is defined by a
unique attribute Nature. In the literature, we
distinguished four types of alignment. The
business/IS alignment consists in understanding
and exploiting the relations between the business
processes and the system to be built. The
strategy/business alignment consists in specifying
the links between the objectives of the company
and the implemented business processes. The
business strategy/IT strategy alignment represents
the link between the business and the IT strategies.
More specifically, the latter takes in charge the
capacity of the technology to determine and to
support the business strategy. The IT strategy/IS
alignment explains how the strategic use of IT can
serve the agility of the IS. This presents an
ICEIS 2007 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
innovative character that limits its taking of
consideration in the planning initiatives.
B. Nature of the change: this facet is characterized
using two attributes:
a. Nature: the literature provides various types of
change for BPs:
Ad hoc: the change is made in a dynamic
way during the process performance.
Evolutionary: it is often the result of an effort
of reorganization aiming processes
reengineering by improving their behavior.
Corrective: occurs when an error is perceived
during the realization of the process.
b. Origin: according to (Barrios, 2001), two types
of contextual forces can cause the change in the
organization: internal and external. Internal forces
issues from the organization need and/or wish to
grow or to evolve. External forces are constraints
imposed by the external environment of the
Nature of the alignment:
Nature: Enum {business/IS alignment, strategy/business
alignment, business strategy/IT strategy alignment, IT
strategy/SI alignment}
Nature of the change:
Nature: Enum {ad hoc, evolutionary, corrective}
Origin: Enum {internal, external}
3.2 The Usage World
The objectives assigned to the alignment between the
various organization representation layers and the
intentions of the individuals, which manage this
alignment, are the purpose of this world. Four facets
allow defining them:
A. Purpose of the alignment: this facet is
characterized by one attribute Purpose. To align the
enterprise global model elements, the company tries
to adapt its BPs to the changes, to improve them in
order to better achieve its goals and to build new
BPs in order to integrate new functionalities. If the
alignment already exists between these elements, the
company tries to maintain it.
B. Strategic alignment: this facet characterized by the
attribute Alignment perspectives can take four
values corresponding to the four perspectives cited in the
SAM (Henderson & Venkatraman, 1999) according to the
business strategy or the IT strategy is the driving force.
Strategy execution: this perspective views the
business strategy as the driver of both
organizational design choices and the design of IS
infrastructure. IT management only implements
the strategy formulated by the top management.
Technology transformation: this perspective
views also the business strategy as the driver but
is not constrained by the organization design.
However, it involves the formulation of an IT
strategy that support the chosen business strategy
and the articulation of the required IS
infrastructure and processes.
Competitive potential: unlike the two previous
perspectives that considered business strategy as
given, this perspective allows the modification of
business strategy (and the organizational
infrastructure and BPs) via emerging IT
Service level: this perspective focuses on how to
build a world-class IS service organization. In this
perspective, the role of business strategy is indirect.
This perspective is often viewed as necessary (but
not sufficient) to ensure the effective use of IT and
to be responsive to the growing and fast-changing
demands of the end-users.
C. The communication constitutes an essential mean to
support the strategic orientation of the organization. Indeed,
experts from various departments have to communicate in
order to share information and ensure awareness of the
smallest problem.
D. The comprehension of the user represents the
facility of comprehension of requirements related to
the alignment by the involved actors.
Purpose of the alignment:
Purpose: Enum {to adapt, to improve, to build, to maintain}
Strategic alignment:
Perspectives alignment:
Enum{strategy execution,technology
transformation, competitive potential, service level}
Communication: boolean
Comprehension of the user:
Comprehension of the user: boolean
3.3 The System World
The system world is related to the representation of
the IS supporting the BPs and the organization
strategy as well as the representation of the alignment
between them. We define six facets. Five of them,
cover, refinement, traceability, modularization and
capture of the change are characterized by an
attribute of the same name:
A. The cover allows capturing the capacity of the
models to represent the knowledge relative to the
strategic alignment. We distinguish activity, product,
context, decision and intention oriented models.
B. The refinement specifies the model contents.
Models can include knowledge related to various
layers of interest namely: intentional, organizational,
IS and technological layers.
B. The traceability is the capacity to draw explicit
relationships between the elements of the connected
models (Wegman, 2003).
D. The flexibility: a flexible IS has the ability to be
adapted to the BPs changes. This facet is measured by
four attributes:
a. The modularization allows decomposing
enterprise models into significant chunks. It
facilitates the comprehension of the user and the re-
use of the chunks.
b. The capability to re-use existing components is
an essential requirement in order to build a flexible
IS. Indeed, if a change occurs, the system has to
evolve in accordance with the new reality where
legacy systems often remain. So, those legacy
components have to be re-used, instead of
completely re-design the whole system.
c. In order to be flexible, the system has to be able
to capture the change. Indeed, a system cannot
adapt itself to its environment if it is not able to
detect the changes which occur (Sadiq &
Orlowska, 1998). This attribute can take three
values: no if the way of capturing the change is not
defined, trigger if such a concept allows activating
the modifications and other if another method is
Cover: Enum {activity, product, context, decision, intention}
Refinement: Enum {intentional, organizational, SI,
Traceability: boolean
Modularization: boolean
Re-use of the existing components: boolean
Capture of the change: Enum {no, trigger, other}
3.4 The Development World
The development world handles the engineering process
of the IS which representations are stored in the system
world. In our case, the development world concerns the
IS engineering process models and integrates the
requirements of the strategic alignment for creating as
as well as for maintaining the fit between business
(strategy and processes) and IS. We are particularly
interested in the aspects of IS engineering, defined in
three facets:
A. Development approach characterized by three
a. The nature of the development process, it can be ad
hoc or systematic.
b. The paradigm of modeling: the values of the
attribute “Cover” (system world) for business
process to be modeled, remain valid for the IS
engineering processes.
c. The capitalization of knowledge aims to promote
the use of the established enterprise knowledge
that proved its effectiveness. It is a boolean.
B. The support provided for the IS engineering
process is defined using two attributes:
a. The software support; it can be automatic, manual
or mixed.
b. The infrastructure of execution: it has to be generic
and/or interoperable in order to facilitate the
integration of the existing objects into new
C. The guidance: it provides a range of possibilities
of actions by taking into account the level of
organizational maturity, the delay obtained to master
the change, etc… Several attributes can characterize
the guidance, but we are interested in our analysis to
the following ones:
a. Existence; it specifies if the development
process is guided or not.
b. Granularity of the guidelines provided to guide IS
engineers. Guidelines can be specified in a very
general way, for instance, the definition of the
major stages of the development process; or
provide the details of all development activities,
the handled resources and the situations in
which these activities can be performed.
Development approach:
Nature of the dev
process: Enum {ad hoc, systematic}
Modeling paradigm: Enum {context, decision,
intention, activity, product}
Knowledge capitalization: boolean
Execution support:
Software support: Enum {automatic, mixed, manual}
Infrastructure of execution: Enum {generic, inter operable}
Existence: boolean
Granularity: Enum {micro, macro}
The analysis framework developed above allowed us
to identify the various aspects of the alignment
approaches and to classify them. Based on this
classification, it was possible to highlight the main
characteristics of these approaches. The classification
facilitates also to understand the needs of the IS in
terms of adaptability and flexibility as well as the
stakeholders requirements concerning the strategic
alignment in terms of comprehension and
communication between Business and the IT teams.
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Concerning the characteristics of the IS engineering
approaches to fulfill the alignment requirements, we
retain as essential the traceability and the flexibility
expressed by the re-use, the modularization and the
capture of the change. The traceability is a relevant
argument for the alignment between various
organization representation layers (Longepe, 2004),
(Wegman, 2003), (Bleistein et al., 2005).
The re-use is directly related to the change.
According to the change requirements and to the
situation in hand, the existing models are adapted to the
new business reality or new applications are developed.
Often, existing components (legacy systems) remain.
Software components have to be modular and the most
independent possible to be more easily re-used and
adapted to the environment evolutions (Papazoglou &
Van den Heuvel, 2000), (Longepe, 2004).
We notice that the majority of the studied approaches
use activity-oriented models to represent business
processes (Scheer & Nuttgens, 2000), (Longepe, 2004),
(Papazoglou & Van den Heuvel, 2000) and (Wegman,
2003). However, in a changing environment, the
flexibility of the business process models is essential.
Activity-oriented models offer a linear view, which is
inadequate to represent flexible business processes.
Few approaches offer decision-oriented or context-
oriented models (Barrios & Nurcan, 2004) which are
more appropriate to represent business processes
requiring flexibility.
Few of the presented approaches are able to
capture changes (Scheer & Nuttgens, 2000),
(Wieringa et al., 2003) i.e. to define the way the
various significant events occur. Some approaches
use triggers (Scheer & Nuttgens, 2000) and define
exceptions that allow capturing changes. Nevertheless,
the definition of exceptions supposes that changes
should be foreseen. To summarize, we can affirm
that the existing approaches are rather moderately
adapted to the change handling.
With regard to the requirements of the alignment
process, the communication between business and IT
experts as well as their understanding of what is the
alignment seem very important to us. The
communication constitutes a good means to understand
the change requirements and to propagate them on all
units and levels of the company. Moreover, in order to
maintain the alignment (when it exists), measures
are useful to analyze the gaps between the current
and the future situations. The strategy becomes
really the affair of all if everybody understands it
and is motivated to apply it (Kaplan & Norton,
1996). The communication and the comprehension
of the user are closely dependent concepts. Bleistein
et al. (2005) indicate two success factors for
defining the alignment between IS and business
strategies : (i) the mutual comprehension of the
business strategy between business and IS managers
and (ii) the incorporation of this comprehension in
the IS development.
An important aspect, which was neglected by the
majority of the studied approaches and which
constitutes a vital criterion for the companies, is the
strategic links for the business as as well for the IT
purposes. Indeed, to remain competitive and to
ensure its adaptability, the company has to attach a
great importance to its external environment and to
integrate its requirements in its organizational and
technological infrastructures (startegic fit). In spite
of the importance of this aspect, we notice that it was
approached only by (Henderson & Venkatraman, 1989)
which emphasizes also the importance of the IT
strategy in the implementation of the business strategy
(strategy integration). In the other approaches, even if the
environment of the company and the strategic alignment
were pointed in some of them (Wieringa et al., 2003),
(Wegman, 2003), the importance of the IT domain was
not explicitly specified. Other authors emphasize the role
of information technologies. For instance, (Morton,
2001) makes several assumptions on this subject,
among which: (i) IT allow a better efficiency on the
World Facets Attributs Approaches
Alignment nature nature Business/SI: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7;
Strategy/business: 6, 7, 8;
Business strategy/IT strategy: 6;
IT strategy/SI: none
Nature Ad hoc: 1, 4, 7, 8; Evolutionary :
all ; Corrective: 1, 5
Subject world
Origin Interne, extern: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
Purpose To adapt: all; to built: 2, 3, 6; to
improve: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7; to maintain:
4, 5, 7
Strategy implementation: all,
Technology potential: 6;
Competitive potential: 6; Service
level: 6
Communication communication Yes: 3, 5, 7, 8; No: 1, 2; NS: 4, 6
Usage world
Yes: 1, 5, 7, 8; NS: 2, 3, 4, 6
Product Oriented: 5; Activity
Oriented: 1, 2, 4, 7; Context
Oriented: none; Decision
Oriented: 4, 5, 7; Intention
Oriented: 7, 8
Intentional: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8;
Organizational: all, SI: 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7; Technologic: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Traceability Traceability Yes: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8; NS: 1, 4, 6
Modularization Yes: 1, 2, 3, 4; No: 7; NS: 5, 6, 8
Capture of the
Trigger: 2, 4; NS: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8
System world
Re-use Yes: 2, 3, 4; No: 7; NS: 1, 5, 6, 8
Ad hoc: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8;
Systematic: 7
Contextual: 7; decisional: 1, 2, 3,
4, 5; Intentional: none; Product
Oriented: none, Activity
Oriented: none; NS: 6, 8
Yes: 1, 7; No: 4, 6, 8; NS: 2, 3, 5
Software support Mixed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Automatic:
7; Manual: none; NS: 6, 8
Execution support
Generic: 1, 2, 3, 4; Inter operable:
2, 3; NS: 5, 6, 7, 8
Existence Yes: 4, 7; No: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8
Development world
Granularity Micro: 4; Macro: 7
value chain, (ii) IT allow an increase in the size, the
complexity and the reactivity of the company while
preserving its flexibility, (iii) IT raise the required
level of competence but also the motivation of the
staff. Indeed, these technologies changed radically our
world, and a major importance is required in order to
ensure effectively the strategy/business/IT alignment
in the organizations.
In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the
alignment requirements, it seemed relevant to us to
define an analysis framework. We built our framework
on the “four worlds” (Jarke et al., 1990) which already
proved efficiency in several disciplines like IS
engineering or requirements engineering. Facets and
attributes of each world were specifically developed for
analyzing and comparing Business/IS alignment abilities
of IS engineering methods and frameworks. Once the
framework was established, we used it to analyze eight
approaches aiming to the alignment between business
(strategy and processes) and IT. The definition of this
framework and the various analyses we performed
highlighted three important concepts:
- The communication between the specialists of the
company constitutes a good means to share knowledge
and to better understand the organization strategy and
consequently to facilitate its implementation.
- The flexibility of business and IS processes that
constitutes an important characteristic in an
evolutionary environment since it can allow the IS
to serve the strategy of the company and to change
in adequacy with it.
- The importance of the integration of IT
capabilities in the business strategy. Indeed,
considering the importance of the IT, decision
makers have to acquire a sufficient comprehension of
them, in the strategy of the company, in order to
exploit them effectively.
The opportunities related to the potential of the IT,
the motivation and the coordination between the
collaborators play a key role in the success of IS
Our aim is to extend IS engineering methods in order
to enhance their capability for anticipating the
Strategy/Business/IS alignment requirements. The IS
engineering method which will be just extended for
illustrating our purpose is EKD-CMM, already applied
in many professional contexts. However, the method
chunks, which will be provided for the alignment
requirements, should be generic because they have
vocation to enhance any IS engineering method.
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