Título: Value Imperative in a Digital World
Palestrantes: Gerald Grant (Carleton University, Canada) / Cesar Alexandre Souza (USP, Brazil)
We have been talking about strategic alignment between the business and information technology (IT) in organizational endeavor for at least two decades now. Yet, despite heroic efforts on the part of researchers and practitioners we appear to be still far from achieving this business–IT ‘nirvana’, where the efforts of business and IT are synchronized as a well-engineered machine delivering extraordinary value to the business. Researchers have argued that alignment, while a complex and dynamic process, occurs when there is congruence between what the business wants to achieve (its strategy) and how IT may serve that strategy. The thinking is that if business and IT can really become aligned (integrated, synchronized and fused) then organizations will begin to realize extraordinary value from their investments in IT systems and processes, and the services they afford. Given that most constructions of the idea of business–IT alignment adopt a mechanistic perspective, the state of alignment envisaged is equivalent to a mirage, seeming to exist in vivid, lifelike color, but in reality, actually non-existent. As with the mirage in the desert, the expectation of a truly satisfying, thirst-quenching repast disappears into a bowl of sun-baked sand when the target is approached. Rather than chasing a dream, often thwarted by the structural and ideological rigidities maintained by vested interests in organizations, we call for more intense effort focused on cultivating and harvesting the products and services afforded by IT investment on an ongoing cycle. We advocate a shift, by both researchers and practitioners, from an engineering perspective on IT business alignment to one that embraces more of an agricultural view.