Information Technology Reference
and to exploit knowledge to maximize the value of core strengths and capabilities
by way of transferring and embedding best practice to other public sector areas. It
could be useful to learn more about the role of ICT in “achieving an ambidexterity
capability” (Huang, Newell, Huang, & Pan, 2014, p. 29) as it might potentially
relate to public organizations.
This chapter described the evolving nature of aligning strategy and ICT over the
last 50 years. Here, it was shown that strategic alignment is concerned primarily
with maximizing value from ICT investments by way of raising organizational per-
formance. Strategic alignment was shown to be a dynamic construct, reflected by
its various features that can hinder or heighten performance. However, essentially,
it requires the collective knowledge capacity of ICT managers and public executives
to map the strategic trajectory by astutely selecting and executing ICT initiatives
that support and challenge organizational performance.
During the last decade or two, public organizations have generally raised the
level of ICT investment to support mission-critical aims toward improved ser-
vice delivery, greater efficiency, and higher interactivity. However, as was pointed
out, only a small number of these ICT initiatives deliver on what was originally
intended. For the most part, a great many ICT plans in the public sector struggle
to realize value or make a difference to the running and performance of organiza-
tions. A number of reasons were highlighted to demonstrate why this is the case.
Arguably, the more things change, the more they really remain the same insofar as
the public sector struggles to derive value from major ICT-enabled transformation
Some of the known impediments to realizing high strategic alignment efficacy
were presented, and these pointed to themes such as inadequate strategic capa-
bilities to orientate ICT-enabled change, lack of senior executive support for ICT,
stifling and complex organization structures, low participatory engagement, mis-
aligned investment controls, and resistance to change. In terms of the last point, it
is not so much that public organizations resist change as it is that they fail to fully
interpret the intertwined strategic, structural, and socially systemic complexities
tied to leading ICT-enabled transformation.
In aligning strategy and ICT, a comprehensive approach to ICT strategy-making
is essential. This chapter set out at a high level only some of the process activities to
select, develop, and execute appropriately aligned ICT initiatives. Any such strat-
egizing activity must identify the issue, thoroughly diagnose the underlying causes,
conceive ideas to overcome challenges, make astute selection choices, and then go
about executing the plan to deliver in full that which was intended.
This chapter highlighted that strategic alignment in public organizations has
received only sporadic scholarly interest in comparison to studies of the construct