Improving business and information strategy alignment: Learning from the banking industry
by M. Broadbent, P. Weill
An empirical study that explored business and information strategy alignment in the information-intensive and competitive Australian banking industry is featured in this paper. The aim of the study was to identify organizational practices that contribute to and enhance such alignment. Multiple sources of information were used to collect data about business and information strategies from the major firms dominating Australian banking. Sources included written and interview-based information, strategic planning documentation, and annual reports. Evidence was sought for the alignment of business and information strategies through the use of information and information technology that provided a comparative advantage to an organization over its competitors. The firm-wide strategy-formation processes of the banks, rather than their information systems (I/S) methodology, was central to the alignment of business and information strategies. The interdependence of firm-wide processes and I/S factors are emphasized in a strategic alignment model that summarizes the findings of the study. The paper concludes with a discussion of the management implications and requirements for action in both firm-wide strategy and I/S areas. The results of this study in the banking industry are pertinent to other industries where information technology and systems are playing an increasingly strategic role.