Chapter9 IS strategy, governance and ethics
Q1: What is the relationship between organizational strategy and information technology
Recall chapter3: an organization’s goals and objectives help determine its competitive strategy.
Porter’s five forces model to consider the structure of the industry under which a company
operates. Given that structure, we could develop a competitive strategy for the organization. This
strategy is supported through activities in the value chain, which consist of a collection of
business processes supported by information systems.
Recall chapter2: Information systems exist to help organizations achieve their goals and
objectives. Thus, in an ideal world, the information systems that a company chooses to use
should support the company’s competitive strategy.
Effectively managing information systems so that they support business objectives is a difficult
It requires a significant amount of information technology planning, including understanding how
technological and organizational systems should be acquired, maintained, and renewed.
Q2: What is information technology architecture?
----- An IT architecture is like a plan for a city. It lays out the street network, water system, sewer
system, emergency services, and power grids.
It is the basic framework for all the computers, systems, and information management that
support organizational services.
Enterprise architect, to describe the people who do this work.
The enterprise architect’s job is to create a blueprint of an organization’s information systems and
the management of these systems. The blueprint should provide an overview that helps people in the organization better understand current investments in technology and plan for changes. In
developing the architecture, the enterprise architect usually considers organizational objective,
business processes, databases, information flows, operating systems, applications and software,
and supporting technology.
What does an IT architecture look like?
An architecture is usually a long document with many sections that include some pretty
complicated diagrams as well as management policies and discussion of future changes to
Since the development of an IT architecture is so complex, it’s often helpful to use a method that
organizes the development.
Zachman framework, one of the most popular methods.
The framework divides systems into two dimensions: one is based on six reasons for
communication (what-data, how-function, where-network, who-people, when-time,
why-motivation), and the other is based on stakeholder groups ( Planner, Owner, Designer,
Builder, Implementer, and Worker).
----- The development of an enterprise architecture can be critically important when
organizations are considering significant changes, such as mergers, acquisitions, divestiture, or
Q3: What is alignment, why is it important, and why is it difficult?
The process of matching organizational objectives with IT architecture is often referred to as
MIS researchers have suggested that alignment should be viewed as an ongoing process---
meaning that fitting IT architecture to business objectives is a challenge that continually evolves.
----- The alignment process takes advantage of IT capabilities as they develop, while at the same
time maintaining a balance between business objectives and IT architecture. What is important
to recognize is that what works for one organization as a balance may not work for another, since
alignment depends on business goals, the organizational context, and the state of IT architecture
in an organization.
------ Matching investments in information technology with organizational strategy is not as
straight forward as it may see.
It is clear that supporting business objectives with appropriate IT investments remains a critical
part of IT management. Results showed improvements in perceived performance when
technology was aligned with some strategy objectives. What makes it so difficult to achieve?
Alignment as the degree to which the IT department’s missions, objectives, and plans overlapped
with the overall business missions, objectives, and plans.
Effective alignment occurred in organizations that had developed a climate supporting the
sharing of domain knowledge and common business practices.
Communication between business and IT executives is the most important indicator of
Alignment remains a difficult issue for many firms, but one that can help provide competitive
advantage for those who are willing to make the investment in developing communication and
Q4: What is information systems governance?
Governance has become a popular word in the field of information system.
The term suggests that some committee or political party has the ability to decide on
expectations for performance, to authorize appropriate resources and power to meet
expectations, and perhaps eventually to verify whether expectations have been met.
----- in publicly traded organizations, one purpose of governance is to ensure, on behalf of the
firm’s shareholders, that an organization produces good results while working to avoid bad
----- For business organizations, governanc