Research Papers

Abstract

Organisations increasingly strive to increase their ability to proactively sense and respond to market opportunities and threats to remain competitive by embracing organisational agility. As doing so often blurs traditional boundaries between business and IT, this has considerable implications for the business-IT alignment (BITA) concept. Based on empirical data from focus groups and interviews with 36 practitioners from multiple positions and industries, we identify four organisational challenges for BITA in agile contexts: 1) to establish an effective focus on the business environment, 2) to balance the autonomy of single teams for decision-making concerning the development and use of IT 3) and service functionalities with the organisation-wide optimum, and 4) coping with the fluidity of the organisation’s structure and processes. We subsequently derive four design goals and five design principles to address these challenges. In addition, we contribute to research by reconceptualising BITA for agile contexts. Organisations can draw on our findings to guide their agile transformation journeys.

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