Towards a definition of the role of enterprise modeling in the context of business and IT alignment
On July 3rd, Julia Kaidalova, defends her licentiate thesis "Towards a definition of the role of enterprise modeling in the context of business and IT alignment". This licentiate thesis investigates how organizations can use models in the creation of IT-systems for Business development. The framework positions Enterprise Modeling (EM) conceptually in the context of Business and IT Alignment (BITA) and identifies a number of challenges and recommendations. We have asked Julia to describe her research and findings.
What is the most important conclusion of your research?
In my licentiate thesis I investigated how Enterprise Modeling (EM) can be used in order to achieve Business and IT Alignment (BITA). The main result of my work is the framework that includes a number of challenges and recommendations for EM practitioners. These challenges and recommendations can help to align business and IT on strategic and operational levels, depending on a purpose behind a specific EM initiative.
What is new in your research?
The idea to systematically analyze and describe how to use Enterprise Modeling to achieve business and IT alignment is quite new, despite the fact that EM is often applied in this context. For example, EM is widely used as a supportive practice when discussing and representing requirements for information systems, which is one scenario of dealing with misalignment between business and IT. In my licentiate thesis I investigated the applicability of EM in the context of BITA and proposed a framework that provides an integrated view on the subject matter.
Did something in your research results surprise you?
Results demonstrated that the ability of EM to trigger communication between stakeholders is as important in the context of BITA as the ability to represent an enterprise in a multi-dimensional way. The first one, also known as collaborative nature of BITA, can help to deal with social and cultural dimensions of BITA, whereas the second one is related to strategic and structural dimensions. This is an interesting finding, since the collaborative nature of EM has received considerably less attention in the existing studies in relation to BITA problem than the representational power of EM.
What do your results mean for science, for research, for society?
From a practical point of view, the identified EM challenges and recommendations for each of the alignment perspectives can provide support for EM practitioners that use EM aiming to achieve BITA.
From a research point of view, the study contributes to the EM domain by consideration and application of the existing theories. In addition, the study provides an initial conceptual illustration of the applicability of EM to achieve BITA, as at the moment there are no studies that holistically illustrate it.
In a broad sense this licentiate thesis makes a step towards digital society - a society where information systems are built to serve people and to make the world a better place. In that respect, my licentiate thesis describes EM as a practice that can help to eliminate misalignment between people needs and existing information systems.