Business and information technology (IT) alignment has been researched to enable organisations to leverage technology to gain a competitive advantage and enhance their financial performance. This research is based on assessing the level of alignment between business and IT, particularly focusing on IT governance and partnership dimensions, using Luftman's Strategic Alignment Maturity (SAM) model. The maturity levels of IT governance and partnership were assessed using quantitative methods to determine the level of alignment. The research further explored how alignment between business and IT affects the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in delivering the IT strategy, collaborative strategies to ensure alignment, and leadership qualities the CIO should have to enable improved alignment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the research and find a deeper understanding of how alignment affects the CIO in delivering the IT strategy. The study found that although the SAM model rating was a suitable tool to measure the level of alignment, it was unsuitable to provide a deeper understanding of how the implementation of alignment affects the CIO. The CIO is required to understand collaborative strategies that will influence the organisation to bring about alignment and enable IT to meet the organisational strategy. The 11 executive participants interviewed, provided deeper understanding on strategies the CIO should use to enable alignment, including enabling the CIO to manage his/her relationships at both strategic and operational level; understand the politics influencing top down within the organisation; and the availability of basic IT services, amongst others. It was further found that the CIO should understand business and communicate in a language that business is able to understand, while at the same time possessing the different leadership qualities required to lead the organisation. The study contributed to the literature by identifying the effects and mitigation of alignment from a South African CIO's perspective, operating in a less mature technologically advanced country as compared to more matured developed companies and countries previously researched.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.