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Model-driven Alignment: Linking Business Strategy with Information Systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information technology (IT) is more pervasive than ever before, constituting a significant factor for performance and survival in the business arena. It is essential that IT within organizations understands what the Business needs in order to provide the necessary support and bring value, which is also true when IT is also the main value creator. Therefore, alignment between the Business and IT within organizations is an issue of great concern and it is still open for solvency both for business and IT executives and practitioners.

This work is scoped to the alignment linkage between business strategy and information systems (IS), where business strategy typically constitutes the primary exponent of the Business and IS typically encapsulates the elements of IT sustaining an organization. Current approaches are either focused on detailed aspects of IS and treat business strategy abstractly or use distinct business strategy formulations (e.g. Value Chain) but deal with IS only partially. This is problematic because the abstract use of business strategy hinders traceability of strategic intentions and initiatives towards features/aspects of IS, which are aimed to actualize and support such intentions. Because approaches using distinct business strategy formulations are not relevant to all organizations and are limited only to the IS aspects addressed.

Introducing a model-driven approach for the alignment linkage is aimed at addressing the outlined shortcomings. Following a design science research paradigm, the main artifact developed is the Unified Business Strategy Meta-Model (UBSMM), which is based on conceptualizing established business strategy formulations (e.g. Value Chain) and integrating them. UBSMM supports mappings to IS models used in organizations, such as IS requirements, enterprise models and enterprise architecture, and provides unambiguous utilization of business strategy for the alignment linkage.

Contributions of this thesis are grounded both on the process of building UBSMM and mapping to IS models, as well as the artifact itself. Conceptualizing and integrating business strategy formulations provides a less ambiguous and unified view of strategic concepts. This limits variations in interpretation and reinforces mappings to IS models, which are defined based on inter-schema properties across models. Therefore, UBSMM can link business strategy to IS models enhancing their communication in a traceable manner, ergo, support alignment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2014. , 113 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 14-008
Keyword [en]
Alignment, Business, Strategy, Information, Systems, Requirements, IS, Enterprise, Models, Modeling
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102214ISBN: 978-91-7447-891-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102214DiVA: diva2:708684
Public defence
2014-05-05, sal B, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 10: Submitted. Paper 11: Accepted.

Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-03-28 Last updated: 2014-04-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Towards a Unified Business Strategy Language: A Meta-model of Strategy Maps
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a Unified Business Strategy Language: A Meta-model of Strategy Maps
2010 (English)In: The Practice of Enterprise Modeling: Third IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference, PoEM 2010, Delft, The Netherlands, November 9-10, 2010. Proceedings / [ed] Patrick van Bommel et al., Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2010, 205-216 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Alignment between business strategies and the resources engaged ensuring their realization, has been a continuous concern of enterprises of all kinds in last few decades. Commonly, enterprises fail to establish the traceability from business strategies towards operational tasks carried by employees. From the requirements engineering perspective this problem leads also to a misalignment between business and IT assets. In this study, we argue that for communicating high-level intentions and strategies down to the operational perspective, i.e. tasks and resources, the core necessity is to have a rich and well-defined language for modeling business strategies. Such a language could be further utilized for facilitating formalizations and a constructive analysis of high-level business aspects of enterprises, as well for comparing and unifying existing intentional modeling languages from the business and requirements engineering domains. As a reference proposal for formalizing business strategies, we consider the well-established strategy maps [1] from the Management Information Systems community which provide textual concepts of strategy-related notions establishing causal relationships between them. We have set an effort to formalize strategy maps in the form of a meta-model, usage scenarios and constraints, providing a systematic basis for obtaining a unified language/ontology for business strategy modeling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2010
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 68
Keyword
Business strategy, strategy maps, goal modeling, meta-model
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52030 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-16782-9_15 (DOI)978-3-642-16781-2 (ISBN)978-3-642-16782-9 (ISBN)
Conference
Third IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference, PoEM 2010, Delft, The Netherlands, November 9-10, 2010
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
2. Modeling Business Strategy: A Meta-model of Strategy Maps and Balanced Scorecards
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling Business Strategy: A Meta-model of Strategy Maps and Balanced Scorecards
2011 (English)In: 2011 Fifth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) , 2011, 1-6 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Business strategy is aimed to support the vision of an enterprise, by paving the way to achieve it through goals that direct the strategy's execution. However, there is a lack of means to establish and assess the alignment of business strategy and goal oriented requirements engineering. The objective of our ongoing research is to model business strategy in order to establish well-defined and traceable links with system requirements. In this paper, we propose a business strategy meta-model for Strategy maps and Balanced Scorecards. The validity of the meta-model is tested through a case scenario using OWL and Telos.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2011
Keyword
business strategy, strategy maps, balanced scorecards, OWL, Telos, business-IT alignment
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67163 (URN)10.1109/RCIS.2011.6006868 (DOI)978-1-4244-8670-0 (ISBN)978-1-4244-8669-4 (ISBN)
Conference
2011 Fifth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), Gosier, West Indies, 19-21 May 2011
Available from: 2011-12-26 Created: 2011-12-26 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
3. Modeling Competition-Driven Business Strategy for Business IT Alignment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling Competition-Driven Business Strategy for Business IT Alignment
2011 (English)In: Advanced Information Systems Engineering Workshops: CAiSE 2011 International Workshops, London, UK, June 20-24, 2011. Proceedings / [ed] Camille Salinesi, Oscar Pastor, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011, 16-28 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Business strategy aims at supporting the vision of an enterprise, by paving the way to achieve it through goals that direct the strategy’s execution. Aligning business strategy to system requirements requires explicit models from both business strategy and requirements engineering. However, existing business strategy definition approaches are informal and their syntax is based on natural language, therefore, they cannot be used in model-driven alignment. An objective of our research is to define a well-structured business strategy modeling language. In this paper, we propose a business strategy meta-model based on Porter’s work on competition driven strategy and its extension by Stabell and Fjeldstad. Our UML meta-model is formalized in Telos and OWL. An initial validation is performed by instantiating the meta-model using a case scenario.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 83
Keyword
business strategy, alignment, meta-modeling, Telos, OWL
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67164 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-22056-2_3 (DOI)978-3-642-22055-5 (ISBN)978-3-642-22056-2 (ISBN)
Conference
CAiSE 2011 International Workshops, London, UK, June 20-24, 2011
Available from: 2011-12-26 Created: 2011-12-26 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
4. Model-driven Strategic Awareness: From a Unified Business Strategy Meta-model (UBSMM) to Enterprise Architecture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Model-driven Strategic Awareness: From a Unified Business Strategy Meta-model (UBSMM) to Enterprise Architecture
2012 (English)In: Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling: 13th International Conference, BPMDS 2012, 17th International Conference, EMMSAD 2012, and 5th EuroSymposium. Proceedings / [ed] Ilia Bider, Terry Halpin, John Krogstie, Selmin Nurcan, Erik Proper, Rainer Schmidt, Pnina Soffer, Stanisław Wrycza, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012, 255-269 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Business strategy should be well understood in order to support an enterprise to achieve its vision and to define an architecture supporting that vision. While business views are identified in many Enterprise Architecture (EA) proposals, business strategy formulations from the area of Strategic Management are overlooked. Thus, IT solutions cannot be traced back to business strategy in a clear and unambiguous way. Our intended proposal, a Unified Business Strategy Meta-Model (UBSMM), aims at establishing such a link. UBSMM is a formalization of the integration of known business strategy formulations with precise semantics enabling its model-level usage to provide strategic awareness to Enterprise Architecture. In this paper we present the development process of UBSMM, and further, we propose conceptual relationships towards Enterprise Architecture (EA).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 113
Keyword
business strategy, model-driven engineering, meta-model, enteprise architecture
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82247 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-31072-0_18 (DOI)978-3-642-31071-3 (ISBN)978-3-642-31072-0 (ISBN)
Conference
13th International Conference, BPMDS 2012, 17th International Conference, EMMSAD 2012, and 5th EuroSymposium, held at CAiSE 2012, Gdańsk, Poland, June 25-26, 2012
Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
5. Linking Strategic Innovation to Requirements: a look into Blue Ocean Strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linking Strategic Innovation to Requirements: a look into Blue Ocean Strategy
2012 (English)In: Emerging Topics in the Practice of Enterprise Modeling: Short Paper Proceedings of the 5th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling / [ed] K. Sandkuhl, U. Seigerroth, J. Stirna, 2012Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Business Strategy encapsulates an organisation's intentions towards the achievement of its vision. As such, business strategy frames the overarching business roadmap towards the accomplishment of strate- gic goals driven by competition, by own capabilities, or by innovation. Consequently, such a roadmap needs to be considered when building systems aimed at supporting the functionality of an enterprise. Intro- ducing business strategy to system's design using models facilitates the propagation of strategic notions to development techniques and methods. This study focuses on bringing a business strategy formulation driven by innovation into system requirements; specically, relating Blue Ocean Strategy to the notions of i*, an established goal modeling technique within requirements engineering.

Series
CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073 ; 933
Keyword
Business Strategy, Business-IT alignment, Requirements Engineering
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84868 (URN)
Conference
PoEM 2012, Rostock, Germany, November 7-8, 2012
Available from: 2013-01-02 Created: 2013-01-02 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
6. Modeling Strategy Maps and Balanced Scorecards using iStar
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling Strategy Maps and Balanced Scorecards using iStar
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the 5th International i* Workshop 2011 / [ed] Castro Jaelson et al., 2011, 90-95 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aligning business strategy to enterprise models requires explicit models from both areas, mapped to each other. Mapping existing business strategy definition approaches to requirement engineering practices improves strategy dissemination towards development. In this paper we present an illustration of such a mapping using the Strategy Maps and Balanced Scorecards as a business strategy approach and iStar (i*) as a requirements engineering practice exemplified using a case scenario.

Series
CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073 ; 766
Keyword
business strategy, strategy maps, balanced scorecards, iStar, requirements, SMBSC
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67168 (URN)
Conference
iStar 2011 5th International i* Workshop, Trento, Italy, August 28-29, 2011
Available from: 2011-12-26 Created: 2011-12-26 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
7. Capturing Consumer Preference in System Requirements Through Business Strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Capturing Consumer Preference in System Requirements Through Business Strategy
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Information System Modeling and Design, ISSN 1947-8186, E-ISSN 1947-8194, Vol. 4, no 4, 1-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A core concern within Business-IT alignment is coordinating strategic initiatives and plans with Information Systems (IS). Substantial work has been done on linking strategy to requirements for IS development, but it has usually been focused on the core value exchanges offered by the business, and thus overlooking other aspects that influence the implementation of strategy. One of these, consumer preferences, has been proven to influence the successful provisioning of the business's customer value proposition, and this study aims to establish a conceptual link between both strategy and consumer preferences to system requirements. The core contention is that reflecting consumer preferences through business strategy in system requirements allows for the development of aligned systems, and therefore systems that better support a consumer orientation. The contribution of this paper is an approach to establish such alignment, with this being accomplished through the proposal of a consumer preference meta-model mapped to a business strategy meta-model further linked to a system requirements technique. The validity of this proposal is demonstrated through a case study carried out within an institution of higher education in Sweden.

National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102254 (URN)10.4018/ijismd.2013100101 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-03-30 Created: 2014-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
8. A Comparative Analysis of Enterprise Modeling Approaches for Modeling Business Strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Comparative Analysis of Enterprise Modeling Approaches for Modeling Business Strategy
Show others...
2013 (English)In: PoEM Short Papers 2013: Short Paper Proceedings of the 6th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling (PoEM 2013) / [ed] Janis Grabis, Marite Kirikova, Jelena Zdravkovic, Janis Stirna, 2013, 193-204 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A gap in the alignment of business and IT lies between strategy and IS, despite the advancements of enterprise modeling. The objective of our study is to compare various enterprise modeling approaches with respect to their ability to capture and represent strategy notions. This includes identifying strategy notions from established business strategy formulations within Strategic Management, which are expressed in the Unified Business Strategy Meta Model. The interdisciplinary nature of the study constitutes a research challenge due to the significant difference on the levels of abstraction between Strategic Management and IS. To the best of our knowledge, no similar effort has been undertaken, therefore, the outcome of this study will provide the enterprise modeling community with a basis to address strategy and IS alignment linking strategic objectives and intentions to information systems.

Series
CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073 ; 1023
Keyword
Business Strategy, UBSMM, Enterprise Modeling, EKD, iStar, e3value, BMO
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95929 (URN)978-3-642-41640-8 (ISBN)
Conference
6th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling (PoEM 2013), Riga, Latvia, November 6-7, 2013
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
9. Model-Centric Strategy-IT Alignment: An Empirical Study in Progress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Model-Centric Strategy-IT Alignment: An Empirical Study in Progress
2013 (English)In: Advanced Information Systems Engineering Workshops: CAiSE 2013 International Workshops. Proceedings / [ed] Xavier Franch, Pnina Soffer, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2013, 146-155 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

IT pervades all sectors of today's organizations. To support efficient business solutions, business-IT alignment has been long-time discussed as a solution. Given the complexity of achieving alignment, in our research we have hypothesized the importance of one partial possible solution, namely, the fit between strategy and information system requirements. To systematically investigate the influence of widely-used business strategy formulations, such as Porter’s Value Chain, Kaplan & Norton’s Strategy Maps, and others, we propose a model-centric approach to strategy-IT alignment where the strategy formulations are represented in the form of models, and mapped to requirements models. The objective of this paper is to present a pilot empirical investigation assessing if strategy-IT alignment is an issue of concern, and seeking to obtain insights from practitioners about relevance of our modelbased view for strategy-IT alignment. The empirical information is collected through a well-prepared questionnaire-based survey.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2013
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 148
Keyword
Business, Alignment, IT, Strategy, Requirements
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97226 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-38490-5_12 (DOI)978-3-642-38489-9 (ISBN)978-3-642-38490-5 (ISBN)
Conference
CAiSE 2013 International Workshops, Valencia, Spain, June 17-21, 2013
Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
10. Model-Centric Strategy2IS Linkage: an Empirical Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Model-Centric Strategy2IS Linkage: an Empirical Study
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102263 (URN)
Conference
16th IEEE Conference on Business Informatics (CBI 2014), Geneva, Switzerland, 14-17 July, 2014
Note

Submitted paper.

Available from: 2014-03-31 Created: 2014-03-31 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
11. A Design Science Perspective on Business Strategy Modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Design Science Perspective on Business Strategy Modeling
2014 (English)In: Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling: 15th International Conference, BPMDS 2014, 19th International Conference, EMMSAD 2014, Held at CAiSE 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece, June 16-17, 2014. Proceedings / [ed] Ilia Bider, Khaled Gaaloul, John Krogstie, Selmin Nurcan, Henderik A. Proper, Rainer Schmidt, Pnina Soffer, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014, 424-438 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An important topic in the modeling for IS development concerns quality of obtained models, especially when these models are to be used in global scopes, or as references. So far, a number of model quality frameworks have been established to assess relevant criteria such as completeness, clarity, modularity, or generality. In this study we take a look at how a research process contributes to the characteristics of a model produced during that process. For example: what should be observed; what research methods should be selected and how should they be applied; what kind of results should be expected; how they should be evaluated, etc. We report a result on this concern by presenting how we applied Design Science Research to model business strategy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014
Series
Lecture notes in business information processing, ISSN 1865-1348 ; 175
Keyword
Business Strategy, Modeling, UBSMM, Design Science
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102255 (URN)10.1007/978-3-662-43745-2_29 (DOI)978-3-662-43744-5 (ISBN)978-3-662-43745-2 (ISBN)
Conference
15th International Conference, BPMDS 2014, 19th International Conference, EMMSAD 2014, held at CAiSE 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece, June 16-17, 2014
Available from: 2014-03-30 Created: 2014-03-30 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved

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