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Business/IT alignment in the GRAAL project. Pascal van Eck , Roel Wieringa (Dept. of Computer Science, Information Systems Group) SIKS course ‘Information & Organization’, Dec. 6-8, 2004, Vught, The Netherlands. Goal of this presentation.

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Business/IT alignment in the GRAAL project


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    1. Business/IT alignment in the GRAALproject Pascal van Eck, Roel Wieringa (Dept. of Computer Science, Information Systems Group) SIKS course ‘Information & Organization’, Dec. 6-8, 2004, Vught, The Netherlands

    2. Goal of this presentation • Present a theoretical perspective on business/IT alignment • … and introduce a few concepts from strategic management • Present the GRAAL framework as a means for alignment research • Present case study observations about alignment in practice

    3. Agenda • Goal of this presentation • Theory: alignment according to Henderson & Venkatraman • The GRAAL project and framework • Case study observations • Conclusion Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    4. What is business/IT alignment? • Business/IT alignment: Allocation of IT budgets such that business functions are supported in an optimal way Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    5. Strategy (and tactics) 1/2 • Strategy: external position of the organization • Product/market combinations • Make-or-buy decisions • Human resources • Impact of decisions: years Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    6. Strategy (and tactics) 2/2 • Tactical level: realizing the strategy by internal means • Impact of decisions: month(s) – 1 year • Example: organization structure • Operational level: day-to-day decisions • Impact of decisions: day(s) – month(s) • Example: hire temps in case of sudden increase in sales Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    7. Beware: strategy hierarchy • One person’s tactical problems are another person’s strategic problems • E.g., corporate tactics become strategic goals of business units … • … and so on, and so on. Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    8. Taken from: Henderson, & Venkatraman, (1993). Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organisations. IBM Systems Journal, 32(1):472-484. Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    9. Henderson & Venkatraman’s take home message • Similar to business strategy, IT strategy has to consider both internal as well as external aspects • Both internal/external alignment as well as functional integration must be taken into account. Only one of them is not sufficient Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    10. Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    11. Agenda • Goal of this presentation • Theory: alignment according to Henderson & Venkatraman • The GRAAL project and framework • Case study observations • Conclusion Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    12. Project GRAAL • Guidelines Regarding Architecture ALignment • Goal: discovery of patterns in enterprise-level application architecture • Based on case studies in Dutch financial service organizations and large government organizations Project page: http://is.cs.utwente.nl/GRAAL Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    13. What is a system? • A system is an assembly of components that behaves as a whole • There is synergy between components … • … and this synergy results in emergent properties • A product is a system with properties that are useful for someone • Examples • The system of law • The Dutch national soccer team uses a 3-3-4 system • ‘A systematic way of working’ Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    14. System dimensions • System aspects: externally observable properties • Aggregation hierarchy: system composition in terms of components • System life cycle: from conception to disposal Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    15. System life cycle • Typical stages in the life of a system • During design, we should deal with all stages Acquisition (build or buy) Conception Usage Disposal Time Maintenance (Corrective and perfective) Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    16. The only aspect peculiar for symbol-manipulating systems Software product aspects SW product aspect • Aspects are what observers can observe • Service = interaction • Behavior: in what sequence (time) • Communication: with whom (space) • Meaning: about what Services Quality Behavior Communication Meaning For user For developer ... Usability Efficiency Security .... Maintainability Portability Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    17. Aggregation Behavior Communication Meaning Quality Composite system Behavior Communication Meaning Quality Behavior Communication Meaning Quality External entity External entity System Behavior Communication Meaning Quality ... Component ... Aspect and aggregation are independent Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    18. A2 A1 A2 A1 C B C B C The meaning of aggregation • C is a component of A if • C provides service to A • A encapsulates C • If we drop encapsulation, we get layering Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    19. Architecture layers Primary service provision • Layer structure crosses worlds • This is not possible with encapsulation Business environment Social world Business Business software Symbol world SW Infrastructure Physical infrastructure Physical world Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    20. Structure of the business system layer Primary service provision Business environment Social world Business Applications: Functionality Business systems serve particular user groups Information systems: Data Symbol world SW Infrastructure Physical world Physical infrastructure Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    21. Structure of the SW infrastructure layer Primary service provision Business environment Social world Business Business systems Infrastructure serves all user groups Office SW, Browser, ... Middleware DBMS, WFMS, Directory server, Web server, ... Symbol world OS, Network software Physical infrastructure Physical world Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    22. Primary service provision The physical world is BIG! Business environment Social world Business Business software Symbol world SW Infrastructure Processors, peripherals, UI devices, wires, electromagnetic waves, wireless access points, .... Radio network, electricity network, telephone network, water supply network, gas supply network, sewage network, road network, .... Buildings, ... machine tools, .... Physical world Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    23. The framework System life Disposal Usage & Maintenance Acquisition Conception Quality Services Aspects Behavior Communication Meaning Usability ... Maintainability ... Business environment Social world Business Service provision Business SW (applications & information systems) Symbol world SW infrastructure (OS, NW, MW, DBMS, WFMS, ...) Physical infrastructure (Computers, network, access points, ...) Physical world Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    24. Agenda • Goal of this presentation • Theory: alignment according to Henderson & Venkatraman • The GRAAL project and framework • Case studyobservations • Conclusion Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    25. Documents studied Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    26. Main findings • Development of application level and infrastructure level are different • Application level: • Event-driven • Structured according to user groups • Infrastructure level: • Time-triggered • Structured according to technology domains • Structure development org. should follow structure of client organization Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    27. Application alignment Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    28. Goals Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    29. Problems Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    30. Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    31. 2 Business strategy IT strategy 1 2 Business processes IT applications 1 Business infrastructure IT infrastructure Two perspectives Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    32. IT development organization and client organization: observation • Development organization before reorganization: • One department per client group • Per department: subdepartment per development phase (account managers, architects, designers, programmers) • Development organization after reorganization: • One department per development phase • Per department: subdepartment per client group Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    33. Conway • Conway’s Law: • “Structure of designed artefact is isomorphic to structure of development team” • Consequence of restructuring: • Structure development organization no longer fits architecture (not isomorphic) • Clients miss their point of contact • Old structure re-emerges in ad-hoc fashion Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    34. Agenda • Goal of this presentation • Theory: alignment according to Henderson & Venkatraman • The GRAAL project and framework • Case study observations • Conclusion Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    35. Conclusion • GRAAL provides simple framework for studying business/IT alignment • Case study observations: • More than one alignment perspective, this often results in mis-alignment • Isomorphism between development organization and client organization desirable Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    36. Literature • ‘Strategic Alignment Model’: • Henderson, & Venkatraman, (1993). Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organisations. IBM Systems Journal, 32(1):472-484.http://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/journal/sj/382/henderson.pdf • Extension of ‘Strategic Alignment Model’: • Maes, R., Rijsenbrij, D., Truijens, O. and Goedvolk, H. (2000). Redefining business–IT alignment through a unified framework. PrimaVera Working Paper 2000-19, Univ. of Amsterdam, Dept. Accountancy and Inf. Mngt.http://imwww.fee.uva.nl/~maestro/PDF/2000-19.pdf • GRAAL results: • Eck, P. van, Blanken, H. and Wieringa, R. (2004). Project GRAAL: Towards Operational Architecture Alignment. Int. J. of Cooperative Information Systems, 13(3):235-255.http://is.cs.utwente.nl/GRAAL/eck_blanken_wieringa_ijcis04.pdf Goal Henderson & Venkatraman The GRAAL framework Observations Conclusion

    37. Pascal van EckDepartment of Computer ScienceUniversity of TwenteP.O. Box 2177500 AE EnschedeThe NetherlandsEmail: vaneck@cs.utwente.nlhttp://www.cs.utwente.nl/~patveck