The impact of institutional and information systems strategy alignment on academic computing divisions with higher education.
Information Systems play a vital and dominating role in business today by enabling as well as supporting business objectives and goals. As a result, the alignment of Information Systems strategy and business strategy has become a core concept in many organisations. The question that naturally arises is whether this is also true for Higher Education institutions in developing countries. This study examined the alignment of institutional and Information Systems strategy and its impact on Academic Computing divisions within Higher Education. It set out to determine if there was a link between the vision and mission of Information Systems and institutional vision and mission. This was achieved by critically evaluating current Information Systems strategy in relation to the institutional strategy and by determining the effectiveness of the current Information Systems strategy in the area of Academic Computing. In order to fulfil the objectives of the study, questionnaires were sent to a population of 22 Information and Communication Technology directors/managers at 22 universities in South Africa. In-depth interviews were conducted with senior Information and Communication Technology directors from two universities that reflected strong alignment between Information Systems Strategy and institutional strategy. Both universities also possessed strong and effective Information Systems strategy in the Academic Computing component. It was evident that alignment was the key to their effective Information Systems strategy. The overall findings of the study show that there is a strong link between the vision and mission of the Information Systems and institutional mission and vision. The Information Systems strategy in place was effective for the various institutions; however, it was not effective in the area of Academic Computing in most institutions. The need for a more enhanced Information Systems strategy in Academic Computing was acknowledged. Institutions should emulate leading universities in South Africa and first-world countries in respect of continuously adjusting and evaluating alignment between Information Systems and institutional strategy. An enhanced Information Systems strategy in Academic Computing is also required.