Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations
by J. C. Henderson, N. Venkatraman
It is clear that even though information technology (I/T) has evolved from its traditional orientation of administrative support toward a more strategic role within an organization, there is still a glaring lack of fundamental frameworks within which to understand the potential of I/T for tomorrow's organizations. In this paper, we develop a model for conceptualizing and directing the emerging area of strategic management of information technology. This model, termed the Strategic Alignment Model, defined in terms of four fundamental domains of strategic choice: business strategy, information technology strategy, organizational infrastructure and processes, and information technology infrastructure and processes-each with its own underlying dimensions. We illustrate the power of this model in terms of two fundamental characteristics of strategic management: strategic fit (the interrelationships between external and internal components) and functional integration (integration between business and functional domains). More specifically, we derive four perspectives of alignment with specific implications for guiding management practice in this important area.