Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14652
Aligning IT strategy with business strategy: A case study of global IT consultancy firms
|Title:||Aligning IT strategy with business strategy: A case study of global IT consultancy firms|
|Year:||2015 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Management Studies|
|Academic subject:||MSc program in Management and International Business|
|Index terms:||strategia; strategy; tietotekniikka; information technology|
» hse_ethesis_14652.pdf size:1012 KB (1035430)
|Key terms:||IT, IT strategy, Business Strategy, Strategy, alignment, IT-business alignment,Strategic themes, Case study.|
Traditionally IT played a supportive and administrative role within organizations, however the increasing complexity in business environment and rapid development of IT has empowered IT to play a strategic role that leverages and sustains organisational strategy. Furthermore, alignment or fit between IT strategy and business strategy is very significant and both researchers and practitioners advocate such alignment. The main objective of this thesis is to acquire in-depth insight on how three major IT consultancy firm Accenture, Tata Consultancy Services, and Cognizant Technology Solutions headquartered in three different continents leverage IT strategy to reinforce business strategy for clients. In addition, the study also aims to deduce how the case companies comprehension and approach to strategic themes related to IT strategy diverge and converge from each other.
The literature review acquaints the readers with the origin of the term strategy and how the meaning of the term itself has evolved and undergone several changes over time. Furthermore the review also sheds light on how scholars and academics elucidate, describe and portray "strategy". Besides the literature review also expands on various strategic themes that are significant for business like strategic change and its protagonists, connection between strategy and organizational structure, significance of strategic alliances and partnerships ,strategic decision making under uncertainty and significance of performance measurement and goal setting for strategy work. Additionally the review also examines how scholars elucidate and describe information technology and various dimensions, levels and significance of business -IT alignment. The research methodology chosen for this thesis is qualitative multiple case study of case companies. The research utilizes secondary data accumulated from case company's official website. The empirical research section mainly comprises of three parts : description of case companies elucidation of IT strategy to potential clients, thematic content analysis of various strategic IT services offered by case companies to sustain and reinforce business strategies, and cross case analysis of three case companies.
The research has revealed that the case companies are quite similar in their perception and description of IT strategy. A closer look at the data yielded by the study indicates that the case companies describe IT strategy as tool, formula or package of services that helps companies in pursuing and attaining superior competitiveness. Furthermore, the research also provides important insights on key themes within strategic IT services offered by case companies to sustain and reinforce business strategies. In essence, the key themes are strategic change, organizational structure re-design, strategic partnership, decision making under uncertainty, performance measurement and goal setting. Besides, the data yielded by this study appears to suggest that the case companies offer strikingly similar services related to IT strategy . Services albeit are titled and marketed differently, but if one scrutinizes the offerings in details, one will easily come to conclusion that the core services are quite similar. In addition, it is worth noting that the case companies comprehension and approach to key themes within strategic IT services is strikingly similar to academic research on similar strategic themes.
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