Evaluating the Alignment of IT with Business Processes in SMEs
This paper takes a new approach to IT alignment by focusing on the alignment of IT with business processes. Thus the paper focuses on operational alignment rather than strategic alignment. The paper proposes a new instrument for measuring IT alignment, based on the process view of firms. The Process Classification Framework (PCF) (APQC 2006) was used to create a 24 item instrument that formed part of a questionnaire for structured interviews with managers in 66 SMEs. Analysis using partial least squares indicated a positive relationship between IT alignment and IT Success. In addition, IT alignment was found to be low in many firms, and low for many business processes. The typical SME had about 5 business processes with insufficient IS support. However, IT alignment was at an acceptable level for the most important business processes. The study also indicates that the business process view could provide an efficient measure of IT alignment. Opportunities for further research are outlined.