A survey of alignment of business strategy and information systems strategy in banks in Kenya
Interest in Information system strategy and business strategy has largely received very little attention and yet many interesting developments are taking place in Kenya. The study first sought to establish the activities commercial banks use to align business strategies and IS strategies, secondly determine the extent of the alignment of business strategy and IS strategy in Kenya banks and thirdly establish the challenges that banks in Kenya face in aligning business and IS Strategy. The study focused on the banking sector as at the 30th June 2009 and comprised a population of 44 commercial banks. The respondents targeted were business executives, IT executives and strategic planners from all these banks. Structured questionnaires with appropriate questions were delivered physically to the banks. The methodology used to analyze data was by descriptive statistics - by rating the importance of the variables studied using the means and standard deviations. Completed questionnaire's was edited after receipt from the respondents during the analysis stage to ensure completeness and consistency. Data was then summarized in tables according to the main section of the questionnaire.The study found out that the major challenges faced by banks due to alignment of business and IS strategy are Lack of clear understanding of business needs, Lack of consensus between business and IS decision makers, Lack of active involvement of Managers during strategy formulation and Lack of focus on organization long term goals. The study also developed ten key process of aligning business and IS strategies this includes; Develop IS strategy and business strategy, Identify Business strategy that links to IS strategy and vice versa, Establish common architecture to alignment, Matching Business need to IS, Develop an Enterprise IS-Business Model, Develop a implementation plan, Communication Strategies to all and enhance organizational culture to support Alignment. As a result of the research findings it was recommended that firms need to understand the process of alignment, tackle the challenges and implement strategy to enhance competitive advantage.