A Study on the “Flexibility” of Information Systems (Part 3): MIS Flexibility Planning Scheme for IT/Business Strategy Alignment

  •  Masaru Furukawa    
  •  Shigeki Hirobayashi    
  •  Tadanobu Misawa    


IT/business strategy alignment is still a crucial issue for managers worldwide; how to deal with environmentalchange has been considered to be the key challenge to strategy alignment. Uncertain and dynamically changingenvironments require organizations to maintain a high level of alignment with a high risk of IT investment. Tomaintain this alignment, organizations must learn how to make their management information systems (MISs)sufficiently flexible; therefore, previous studies suggest the importance of MIS flexibility. Nevertheless, thereare few studies that explore the practical method of MIS flexibility planning for IT/business strategy alignment.Therefore, Part 1 of this series discusses the meaning of MIS flexibility for this alignment, while Part 2 proposesa scheme to make MISs sufficiently flexible.

The proposed concept of the penalty of change (POC), as a function of cost and time, could bridge the gapbetween IT and business strategies in practice. This paper presents a scheme for the strategic planning of MISflexibility by overhauling the IT infrastructure via future-oriented POC analysis. Using this procedure andmonitoring the degree of MIS flexibility and alignment in the long term would reduce risks and could transformthe corporate MIS into a useful tool to address environmental changes.


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