MIS Quarterly Executive


IT-business alignment in multi-business-unit firms that have a federated IT structure involves two types of alignment—local alignment and enterprise alignment. Local alignment efforts focus on serving the technology needs of an individual business unit and creating business value from such technology deployments. Enterprise alignment efforts involve coordinating potential economies and efficiencies across business units. In our study of a multi-business-unit company with federated IT governance, we found three components to be key to successful enterprise alignment: (1) Building the capabilities of the shared IT services group so it can provide infrastructure services more reliably and professionally, (2) Introducing opportunities for IT and business managers to collaborate so they can develop mutual trust and understanding, and (3) Creating new mechanisms for business unit leaders to be better informed about IT investment trade-offs and corporate IT leaders to be better informed about the business value of specific shared services.