Strategic Alignment in e-government projects
For over 20 years research and practice have proved the value of inter-organizational information systems (IOIS) to improve interactions between organizations (Barret and Konsynski, 1982). The continuous improvement of computers and information systems made it easier for companies to work closer with other companies and contributed to the increased popularity of inter-organizational relationships. The purpose of this thesis is to understand the dynamics involved in the implementation and use of a nationwide inter-organizational information system (IOIS). By using the Digital Client Dossier (in Dutch: Digitaal Klantdossier, DKD) as a model to investigate a large nationwide inter-organizational information system, the objective is to identify the causes or reasons that explain success or failure of implementing large information systems. Therefore the research question that will be discussed is: “How do alignment processes influence successful implementation of inter-organizational information systems?” Information about the DKD was gathered by searching the internet for relevant documents and consisted of articles from magazines and (quarterly and yearly) reports of the organizations involved with the introduction of the DKD. This information is analysed by using the Extended Strategic Alignment model and the Actor Network theory. To answer the research question the hypothesis is drafted that when more actors are involved with the implementation of an IOIS, the more difficult it becomes to align the requirements of all partners involved. With precaution it can be concluded that with a smaller number of actors involved a higher degree of success will be reached. The second hypothesis describes that the alignment process between the different partners has an influence on the success of the implementation of an inter-organizational information system. The assumption is made that if a problem or opportunity is defined clearly and unambiguously, it will lead more quickly to a successful implementation. The analysis conducted in this thesis does not lead to a conclusive outcome for this matter. The findings in this thesis are based on a selection of examples. The conclusions made seem legitimate, but the number of examples is too low to make conclusive conclusions for inter-organizational systems in general. The methods used for analyzing in this thesis can be useful for other organizations who want to understand the dynamics involved in the implementation and use of an inter-organizational information system.