Strategic alignment between the business and IT is the process and goal of achieving competitive advantage through developing and sustaining a symbiotic relationship between business and IT."
The idea behind strategic alignment is very comprehensive, but the question is how organizations can achieve this ultimate goal. were the first to clearly describe the interrelationship between business strategies and IT strategies in their well-known Strategic Alignment Model.
The concept of the model, pictured is , is based on two building blocks: "strategic fit" and "functional integration."
Strategic fit recognizes that the IT strategy should be articulated in terms of an external domain (how the firm is positioned in the IT marketplace) and an internal domain (how the IT infrastructure should be configured and managed).
Strategic fit is of course equally relevant in the business domain. Two types of functional integration exist: strategic an operational integration. Strategic integration is the link between business strategy and IT strategy reflecting the external components, which are important for many companies as IT emerged as a source of strategic advantage.
Operational integration covers the internal domain and deals with the link between organizational infrastructure and processes and IT infrastructure and processes.