Saudi Firms

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This research effort is intended to study the dynamic relationship between the IT Strategy and the overall Business Strategy in Saudi Firms. IT strategies perceived to be developed in isolation, meaning that such strategies are put forward by IT managers without any involvement of top business managers. The IT manager may be oblivious or he/she may not have a clear idea of the business strategy leading to a strategic diversion where all important technical investments decisions are made by the IT director alone.

The researcher recognized some major factors that influence alignment including Organizational Culture; therefore the researcher investigated the current organizational Culture at large selected Saudi firms. In addition, perceptions of Information Technology Value and utilization in the targeted companies was identified and analyzed through set of questionnaires and interviews in order to help the researcher to establish the relationship between Information Technology and Organizational Culture, since it would be a valuable part of forming the proposed strategic alignment model. The Saudi firms, where questionnaires have been distributed, and interviews have been conducted are SABB (Saudi British Bank), Saudi Airlines, AL-Marai, and AlTawniah.

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The researcher is aiming to collect further data from previous Strategic Alignment Models, and collect more information through additional interviews and questionnaires in order to interpret and validate the findings of the first stage that will lead to the design of the final stage of the Strategic Alignment Model. All data will be combined to give the base for a Strategic Alignment Model. This new model will be a practical one that should fit the Saudi environment.

1. Introduction

Strategic alignment has become one of the most important topics for researchers in all industries. Its main objective is to establish and arrange a relationship between business and IT strategies. From a competitive advantage point of view, organizations with such alignment will have edge over others.

2. Context of the Research

In the last few decades, the gap between business strategy of organizations and their IT strategy has been noticed by researchers and practitioners across the globe. Numerous research articles have been written to indicate this fact and to highlight the importance of bridging the gap between IT strategy and business strategy of organizations, to achieve coordinated results and efficiency for the enterprise. MIS professional, researchers have understood the significance of the issue which exists at global level [1]. Figure (1) summarizes the Information System/Business relationship which can be described as ‘Interdependent’; where any changes in the IS (Software, Hardware, Database and Telecommunication devices will have an impact on the Business and vice versa; any change in the business (Strategy, Rules and Procedures) will have its impact on the Information Systems function of the organization [2].

FIG01-07Since Information systems and organizations influence each another.

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