A co-evolutionary framework to reducing the gap between business and information technology.




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


Over the past few years information technology (IT) and business alignment has become a great concern to organizations. To achieve alignment has become a daunting task for organizations due to rapid changes in business environment and lack of IT support. In business organizations business processes and IT are interrelated and interact with each other where one entity influences to another entity i.e. evolution in business processes requires evolution in IT and vice versa. When this co-evolution is not well aligned, a gap is created due to wrong configuration between business requirements and IT deployment. Organizations usually strive to bridge the gap by implementing business and IT strategies (i.e. top-down planning) and tend to ignore other aspects of the co-evolution. Alignment is a continuous co-evolutionary process in which all components of business and IT are interrelated and enhance organization performance. The co-evolution between business and IT is not restricted to a level but it occurs at all levels and therefore, it is necessary to understand and study co-evolution at all levels within organizations. This thesis presents a co-evolutionary framework that helps to study and understand the co-evolution at three levels i.e. strategic level, operational level and individual level in an integrated fashion. The three levels need to co-evolve so that all components at each level co-evolve. This framework will speed up the alignment in organizations. We argue that the lack of knowledge of business among IT people and IT knowledge among business executives may cause the gap; therefore, a need arises to have a knowledgeable mediator between the domains that could help in the co-evolution. A K-mediator (i.e. knowledge mediator) has been used in the proposed co-evolutionary framework that facilitates the co-evolution at each level. Finally the thesis presents a case study in financial domain in order to evaluate and validate the framework.



co-evolution, business, IT, alignment, framework



Research Institute