That notwithstanding, the rationale of compound or multi-stage options (Panayi & Trigeorgis, 1998) might point to the fact that IT flexibility has the potential of having a positive effect on strategic flexibility as top management appreciate that their ability to change particular aspects of their business strategies could be influenced by the extent they are capable of using IT in supporting those changes. Three arguments arise from this analysis.
One, as organizations seek to achieve increased strategic alignment, is it that their attempts are enhanced or restricted by the need to embrace IT or strategic flexibility, more during occasions of increased uncertainty? (Tallon & Kraemer, 2003, p. 4). The other concern is the way the interaction between the strategic alignment and flexibility affect the value IT has in the organization. For instance, if IT flexibility or strategic flexibility has a complementary influence on strategic alignment, then what effect does it have on the value of IT?
(Tallon & Kraemer, 2003, p. 4). On the contrary, if organizations are faced with a choice between increased IT or strategic flexibility and stringent strategic alignment, what effect would such a scenario have on the value of IT in the business. The third and the last issue arising concerns the relationship between IT flexibility and strategic flexibility. Particularly, does more IT flexibility increase the ability of the organization to put in place critical changes in the business strategy it has?
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Although strategic alignment has always been seen as an unidimensional variable representing IT support for the business strategy, appreciation of the strategic capacities of IT has permitted strategic alignment to have a multidimensional aspect, thus representing the bi-directional correlation between IT strategy and the business strategy (Tallon & Kraemer, 2003, p. 4). This has the implication that organizations which are highly flexible in terms of their IT are more likely to have tighter strategic alignment.
What is mean here is that apart from making use of IT to support prevailing business activities, the information system literature appreciates the proactive ability which IT has in creating new business opportunities beyond the prevailing business strategy. Through IT, corporations such as Frito-Lay are capable of identifying new market niches thus designing innovative marketing strategies (Porter, 1985).
Therefore for many organizations with well defined IT and business strategies, these two have a complementary effect in achieving strategic alignment (Tallon & Kraemer, 2003, p. 23). It implies that with the continued growth of business turbulence and uncertainty, organization such as Frito-Lay are presented with the choice of reviewing their business strategy in the full knowledge that the IT infrastructure they have is flexible enough to support any new business decision they are likely to make (Keen, 1991).
For instance, in 1990 January, the North American operations were reorganized into four regional officers acting headquarters by Jordan under the name of are business teams (ABTs) (Harvard Business School, 2001, p. 117). As a result of the restructuring, all operations relating to manufacturing and purchasing still reported centrally thus fewer conflicts were reported.
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