Stephen Rupia Lyabandi , pp. 59. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2005.
Title: Do organizations have IT Strategies?
A Study on how organizations describe their IT Strategies.
Author: Stephen Rupia Lyabandi
Tutor: Anders Hederstierna
Problem: The research problem of this study is lack of insight on how organizations describe their IT strategies in relation to other strategies. IT strategy continues to be a major challenge for Information Technology intensive organizations and managers. Over the last two decades, the way researchers on information systems have viewed and analyzed IT strategy in organizational systems has not significantly been modified. Recent studies show that one of the main problems is that the concept of IT strategy has been around for nearly two decades and although many organizations have been using it, the meaning and reference of the idea remains elusive. Those who have attempted to define it have not reached an agreement.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to define the problem and explore whether organizations have IT strategies, and how these are describe in relation to other strategies. This research study also investigates how these organizations incorporate IT components into their strategies. Alternatively, this research study is aimed to find out whether “IT strategy” is stand-alone concept.
Therefore, the purpose of this research study can be described by the following questions:
Ø Is IT “strategy” a stand-alone concept?
Ø Do organizations describe IT strategies as a component in other strategies?
Method: In seeking to examine how organizations describe their IT strategies, three interviews were held with IT Managers at Volvo, Boverket and UIQ in Sweden, focusing on each organization’s central IT/IS department. A qualitative approach based on case studies was considered appropriate in given the small amount of prior empirical research in the broad area of IT strategy, and sensitive nature of the data needed. Furthermore, the focus of the study was on types of IT strategies patterns each organization is engaged in and how they differed or resembled across-organizations. In order to understand the thought processes underlying these patterns, it was essential to incorporate the perspectives from several IT managers. At the same time, in order to achieve some understanding of the possible differences, I needed to examine them through a multiple of cases.
Conclusions: The result from this particular research setting shows that there is no IT strategy, which stands on its own feet. IT strategy exists as a part of an overall business strategy. Another possibility is that IT strategy is used in organizations as low components in other strategies, for example, in product, marketing or management Information systems strategies.
Even though, this research study found that there is similarity, on how these organizations described their IT components, this research study found that there are dissimilar methods of describing the IT strategy. This has been tested firstly by studying the theory and then via empirical research at Boverket, Volvo IT and UIQ in Sweden. In this particular research setting, the study concludes that these organizations are describing their IT strategies in a number of ways, mostly depending on the nature of their business domains.
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