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Abstract

IT infrastructure flexibility is now being viewed as an organizational core competency that is necessary for organizations to survive and prosper in rapidly-changing, competitive, business environments. Using data from 200 U.S. and Canadian companies, this study examines the impact of the four components of IT infrastructure flexibility (compatibility, connectivity, modularity, and IT personnel) on strategic IT-business alignment and the extent to which various applications are implemented within an organization. The “extent” of implementation refers to the the organization’s experience with the particular application and the degree to which the application is implemented and used throughout the organization. The findings from analysis of a structural model provide evidence that connectivity, modularity, and IT personnel (among other considerations that we discuss in the paper) make significant, positive impacts on strategic alignment and that all four components result in significant, positive impacts on the applications implementation. The study reinforces the importance of IT infrastructure flexibility to organizations as one source for sustainable competitive advantage.

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