MIS Quarterly Executive


IT architecture is often assumed to follow business strategy, to align IT with the business¡¯s strategic objectives. Increasingly, though, many business strategies depend on specific underlying IT capabilities. To develop a synergy between business strategy and IT architecture, firms must develop organizational competencies in IT architecture. My research has identified four IT architectural stages, each with its own requisite competencies. The ¡°application silo architecture stage¡± consists of IT architectures of individual applications. The ¡°standardized technology architecture stage¡± has an enterprise-wide IT architecture that provides efficiencies through technology standardization. The ¡°rationalized data architecture stage¡± extends the enterprise-wide IT standards to data and processes. And the ¡°modular architecture stage¡± builds onto enterprise-wide global standards with loosely coupled IT components to preserve the global standards while enabling local differences. Each stage demands different organizational competencies to implement the architecture and prepare the firm to move to the next stage.