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Reconciling the IT/business relationship: a troubled marriage in need of guidance

By John Ward and Joe Peppard


Over the past 30 years the relationship between the IT organisation and the rest of the business has been a troubled one which few organisations have managing to satisfactorily resolve. This ‘gap’ has been explained by the cultural differences existing between the two. Yet despite the criticality of IT to the business little attempt has been made to explore this further and much of the writings and research on the subject are dispersed, progressing little beyond the centralisation decentralisation debate and offer little by way of guidance. Much of the literature is concerned with issues of control of resources rather than managing the relationship. Some organisations have chosen to rid themselves of the problem through outsourcing but recent debate has raised the question of the long term consequences of short term decisions which are based on an historical problem. Yet often, the ‘trouble’ has no foundation beyond a level of perceptions. This paper attempts to understand and interpret the problems in the relationship, to describe the gap, to understand the reasons why it exists, and to offer some advice.School of Managemen

Year: 1995
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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