Information Systems Development Aligned with Business Strategy

ISDABS is a framework to assist in the planning and development of information systems that directly support business strategy.

It consists of three stages:

  • Stage 1: Corporate Summary. This provides a contextual description of the organisation and focuses on the question: What business are we in?

  • Stage 2: Situation Summary: This analysing the current strategic situation of the organisation using established strategic analysis tools in order to determnine What is happening in the organization?

  • Stage 3: Justification Alignment Contour: Potential information systems are identified in this stage to address the situation analysed. What information does the organization need?

  • ISDABS was initially used to analyse and model the morphing organisation. Specifically, to examine the aspects of the organisation that needed to change and those aspects of the organisation that must remain the same.

    Read more about each stage of ISDABS by clicking here

    Morphing Organization

    The term Morphing Organization was defined in 1999 as 'the changing face of businesses in response to market changes'. Cox (1999) introduced the term to reflect the changes required in organisations moving into e-business. E-trading enabled organisations to easily enter new markets, in doing so, organisations needed to adapt to the opportunities and challenges of the new market, whilst also maintaining its ‘core identify’, that is, the things that make the organisation the company that it is.

    Using the business model of ISDABS, the introduction of e-business changed the market sector, there by changing the subsets of customers, consumers and channels. However, the business model indicates that changes to the market, also impact on the business environment, in that the subset of competitors is changed, and the company, in that its products and services need to change.

    There are two problems with using the business model of ISDABS to analyse morphing organisations. Firstly, core business lies at the intersection of the three sets (company, market and business environment). This implies that a change to the market (i.e. the introduction of e-business) would impact the core business, which may not be the case. Secondly, the business transformation required by the introduction of e-business extend deeper into the company set than is indicated by the business model. See for example:

    Cox, S. A., Krasniewicz, J. A., Perkins, J. S. & Cox, J. A., (2006), 'Modelling the Organisational Transformation Associated with Implementing E-Business Collaborative Systems in the Supply Chain', Proceedings of the British Academy of Management Conference (BAM2006) in Association with the University of Ulster and Queen's University, Belfast. 12-14 September 2006.

    A metaphor of 'cogs' was then used to refer to the sets in the business model. As the market cog moves round, this causes the company and business environment cogs to rotate, indicating the areas where change is needed.

    Research is currently been undertaken to more accurately represent the key aspects of an organisation that need to remain stable, as it adapts to changes in its markets.

    For information on ISDABS and its role in morphing organizations, please contact: