BITA*: Business-IT Alignment Framework of Multiple Collaborating Organisations

A. Kassahun*, B. Tekinerdogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Businesses today must collaborate in a coordinated fashion. To collaborate, they must align their business processes and IT by complying to a common reference architecture. The common reference architecture that addresses their specific collaboration requirements is generally an adaptation of an existing generic reference architecture. However, a design framework for adapting reference architectures is lacking.

In this paper we propose a design framework for aligning business processes and IT across diverse collaborating organisations in order to derive a more specific reference architecture from a generic one.

We developed the design framework using the guidelines of ISO/IEC/IEEE standard for modelling design viewpoints and validated it in a real-life business case study.

We developed an architectural design framework which we call BITA* that is composed of three coherent architectural design viewpoints. The BP2BP alignment viewpoint provides alignment modelling abstractions for business analysts to be used to align business collaboration processes. The IT2IT alignment viewpoint provides alignment modelling abstractions for software architects to be used to align distributed IT systems. The BP2IT alignment viewpoint provides alignment modelling abstractions for interdisciplinary teams of business and IT specialists for aligning the mapping of business collaboration processes and the underlying distributed IT. The modelling abstractions are applied in a case study to derive a reference architecture for meat supply chain transparency systems.

A key challenge in developing the design framework is the difficulty of comparing models of business processes and IT that come from diverse organisations. Our main contribution is the set of modelling abstractions, which enabled us to represent business processes and IT in a uniform and comparable manner, and the systematic approach for applying the modelling abstractions. The framework is applied in the agri-food sector and needs to be evaluated further in multiple case studies from various application domains.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106345
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Early online date1 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Business-IT alignment
  • Business collaboration
  • Reference architecture
  • Distributed systems
  • Business process models
  • Workflow patterns


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