In order to achieve a better organizational goal, organizations must accept the alignment of business and IT (Information Technology) strategies. Alignment means that IT and Business go in a synchronized way. Alignment of business and IT points about the methods or the processes that management performs to achieve their aims in the organizations using Information Technology. Alignment of both is a major issue for the organizations and having combination of both is not static but evolutionary. Bringing IT into businesses has become a key factor to make the work more successful and easier for the organizations.
This assignment work is the research for alignment of business and IT in the organizations to achieve their business value and IS strategic planning.
The term 'alignment of business and IT (Information Technology)' means using the strategies of IT in business in a synchronized way to achieve business value or aim or to fulfill need. Alignment of business and IT has remained the basic and important concern for both executives from few years back. The definition of alignment can be given in two ways; whether IT is aligned with the business (Business-IT Alignment) or business is aligned with IT (IT-Business Alignment) depending on whether business has adapted the IT strategy or vice-versa. No matter which alignment it is, the aim is to accept the organizational strategies equivalently.
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Now the question is, why create a strategic IT plan when there are so many plans that are made but not all are applied in practice?
This is very important for businesses to successfully align IT within the organizations and without a strategic IT plan it is very difficult to do so.
Absence of a strategic IT plan means working on a project without an aim.
Not having strategic IT plans will lead to more disruption in business activities.
Not having a strategic IT plan may also reduce the quality of the outcome that the organization desires.
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate and analyze critically the alignment of business and IT that leads to business value of British Airways and IS (Information System) strategic planning. Alignment approach in British Airways will be described in this assignment also how BA (British Airways) and its customers have benefited from adopting IT strategies.
Here is Brief Introduction about.....
"We are one of the world's leading scheduled premium international airlines. Our principal place of business is Heathrow, one of the world's premier airport locations, which serves a large geographical area with a comparatively high proportion of point-to-point business. We also operate a worldwide air cargo business, largely in conjunction with our scheduled passenger services. Operating one of the most extensive international scheduled airline route networks, together with our code share and franchise partners, we fly to more than 300 destinations worldwide. In 2008/09, we carried more than 33 million passengers. Our airline network generates economic value by meeting the demand for business travel, by offering vital arteries for trade and investment, as well as providing leisure travel opportunities for individuals and families. In 2008/09, we earned nearly £9 billion in revenue." 
British Airways is UK's largest and one of the largest in world's preeminent scheduled international airlines. The main place where this organization conducts the business is Heathrow, one of the best locations in the world which gives the services to large number of people in so many areas with their point-to-point business. Along with the passenger services, British Airways also provides worldwide cargo business. British Airways flies to more than 300 destinations in the world. In 2008-09, more than 33 million passengers travelled by British Airways. Also in the same time period BA earned £9 billion in revenue. BA gives great economic value to the country by fulfilling the travel demands of the people.
Demonstrate and critically analyze how the business and IT has lead to the achievement of business value and IS strategic planning.
Identify and critically evaluate concepts of business value in terms of information, how information management delivers value to the organization and IT as part of the organizations business transformation.
Business value in term of information encompasses intangible assets - these cannot be touched; seen or physically measured and those are identifiable as a separate asset. Information is a key resource for business- Today, to encompass the information that business form and access, it must be considered broadly. IT also changes the business in three different ways - after development of IT, it changes the structure of industries and so the way of competition; Information Technology also gives the new ways to better to compete with their challengers; and it gives rise to the new ways of the business usually in company's existing operations.
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Information Management delivers the value to the organisation in following ways:
Management of the information helps in planning. Information management improves the quality of the output products of the company of providing the relevant information that is good for making the decision.
It reduces overload of information by converting the large amount of data into compressed (summarized) form and write in such a way that it is easy to understand. E.g. sometimes it is easy to understand data in tabular form rather than writing it in paragraph.
It provides co-ordination of the specialized activities by keeping every department of the organisation understand the issues and requirements of other departments. It centralises the decision making department of the organisation with each other.
Information Management system acts as connection between management planning and control as a result, controls become easier.
"In the past thirty years, we have witnessed major changes in the way companies conduct their affairs, in comparison to the "old days". In the early 1900's, oil, coal and steam were the raw materials that fuelled most of the factories of the industrial revolution, especially in North America. In today's modern times, whether your company is engaged in providing banking or financial services, or runs an international telephone network, manages shopping malls or office towers, or is involved in the transportation business, the raw material that fuels your organization and delivers its competitive edge in the global marketplace is information." 
The above paragraph tells about the revolution that comes in the organisations because of information. The organisations have changed their ways to do business from old years. The raw materials, in early 1900's that were essential for the industries were physical materials like coal, oil and steam (for steam engines). But, now no matters what company is, whether it provides the banking services or it is a telephone network company or a super market or an airline service, the raw material that provides great value to it and helps to expand its business at global level is The Information and the IT (Information Technology) manages the information by using computer hardware and software. So, IT plays an important role in business transformation of the organisation.
1.2 Identify and assess the main features of the organization and explore common organizational purposes and environment using PESTEL framework.
Features and purposes of an Organisation:
Earn Money: First purpose of an organisation is to earn money by selling something or providing some services to the customers.
Unifying Organisation's Employees: One of the critical factors for success of organisation is keeping the employees together. If the system is able to unify the employees then it will help average or hard-working workers to do extraordinary things; if not, then even hard-worker may fail to do their job.
Achieve their Preset Goals: All organizations have their own policies and standards. Organizations enhance the work of employees and their performances to achieve their desired goals.
PEST Analysis: The Pest Analysis is a framework that considers the environment factors in which the firm operates. These environment factors are:-
Political and Legal Factors: The start of the new millennium was very difficult time for airline industries. The terrorist activities in 11-Sep, 2001 in New York and 7-July, 2005 in London and also the wars in Iraq lead to unexpected negative results and political instability.
After that Government changes the locations to/from where the airlines could fly and have changed their policies and plans. Unstable companies like British Airways at that time required proper systems that could help to make decisions quickly and significantly and it was done by 'Open Skies' agreement.
Economic Factors: Economy of the country also influences the BA. High income variation affects the demand of air travel. So, preference of travelling by air is expected to increase with the growth of world economy and in opposite to that if the world economy falls down then business of BA will also be harmed.
Social Factors: The Social and Cultural effects on the business do not depend on single country or area. These effects vary from country to country. Such social factors consist of demographic (age, gender, family size etc.) and cultural aspects like lifestyle changes, population shifts, education etc. lifestyles, tastes and fashions always change time by time. Customers wish to have new, amusing and sometimes long sun journeys.
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Technological Factors: Technology gives so many advantages to the organizations and it is the major cause of globalization. Because of technology, services of British Airways become better than before. Travelers are very happy for the services that come because of technology because some services of airline are very cheap. Technology provides internet services like internet booking, internet payment, booking on mobile etc. that are very favorable for the customers. Technology provides the centralization of the globally distributed business. Technology provides the organizations new way to communicate with consumers.