Technology plays a vital role in visioning the strategy and communicating it throughout the organisation as part of a broader performance management regime. In complex environments strategy maps help management describe the performance framework, articulate performance measures and ensure consistency across the enterprise while integrated scorecards.
The Challenge ofStrategic Alignment The role of Scorecards & Dashboardsin Strategy ExecutionA FSN & Oracle White PaperUntitled Document The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 2Introduction 3Communication 4Is the message clear?4Strategy maps and trees 5The challenge of alignment6Technology and strategy9Scorecards9Dashboards11Summary 12ContentsUntitled Document The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 3A strategy is by definition the starting point for corporate behavior. It expresses an organization sambitions, sets out its chosen direction and describes the principal initiatives and projectsnecessary to achieve its mission. Business schools, management gurus and strategy boutiquesregularly develop new approaches and methodologies for strategy formulation and all acknowledgeits overwhelming importance in setting the tone for the organization and its prospects for success.Despite its significance, aligning an organization to its strategy remains one of the most elusive andunsatisfactory areas of management endeavour. Indeed, research has shown that 85% of executiveteams spend less than 1 hour per month discussing strategy and only 5% of the workforceunderstands strategy. 1Executives spend days or weeks devising well-crafted strategies and then throwthem over the wall to the rest of the company, hoping and praying that theirvision will bear fruit.2Yet the notion of aligning an enterprise with its strategy is not beyond the grasp of all organizations.Take for example a football team about to play a vital competitive match. The manager sets out thestrategy and each player s role within it so that they understand how their actions affect otherplayers and the delivery of the desired outcome. Decisions all along the chain of command frommanager to captain and to the rest of the team are geared to delivering strategic objectives, so whyis it so difficult to emulate this behavior in a business setting?A football analogy may not be a perfect paradigm for the world of government, industry andcommerce but there are useful pointers which help to distil the essential components of strategicalignment from the corporate noise that frequently obfuscates the strategic message, namely;" A clear understanding of stakeholder requirements and external influences." An unequivocal statement of strategy, with measurable objectives and clearly articulated performance measures." Systems and processes which enable the strategy to be communicated in a consistent, relevantand appropriate way to all corners of the organization." A highly trained workforce that is equipped and competent to act on the strategy." Feedback mechanisms that enable under or over performance to be identified rapidly so that remedial action can be taken to bring strategy delivery back on course.Threading its way through all of these apparent pre-requisites for success is communication andcollaboration which are the binding agents that glue the organization (the people) to the processand its enabling technology.IntroductionUntitled DocumentStrategy development is a curious mixture of science and art, fact and insight, knowledge,experience and creativity. In addition, in today s complex multinational organizations it draws on theskills of management from across the enterprise and in all functional areas. After all, strategy hasimplications for the development of human capital, information technology, product developmentand financial management to name a few, as well as the use of all other assets and resourcesowned by a company. This in turn means that if strategy is to be delivered successfully by an organization it must beclearly articulated and communicated throughout the business. In other words, the strategy must bewidely understood at all management levels so that operational plans and day to day activities arealigned with corporate goals and objectives. However, the importance of communication in the strategy process is no longer confined tomanagement, employees and internal stakeholders. Changing attitudes to corporate governanceand corporate social responsibility throughout the developed world coupled with demandinglegislation to protect shareholders in many geographies, means that management are now formallyaccountable to a wider set of external stakeholders as well. It is now incumbent on management toensure that strategy development and communication follows a robust and auditable process so thatresources deployed in the business are strategically aligned and management actions can bejustified, if required, to an external audience.Capturing such fluid requirements is a challenge. Most management teams resort to flip charts,break-out groups and facilitated meetings to drive out the thinking and record key decisions.Methodologies such as The Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, EVA and others can provide a helpfulframework but they are largely paper based in the development phase and can be difficult to changeand communicate. So they do not readily keep pace with the iterative and creative nature of strategydevelopment. When companies commit to a strategy and communicate This is how we win ,and can align execution with corporate objectives, they begin to create a culture ofperformance. 3In large and complex heterogeneous organizations the sheer scale of the task makes it extremelydifficult to view the overall strategy and check its integrity, let alone cascade it through theorganization. Take for example the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measureswhich support the achievement of specific objectives derived from a strategy.This stage of strategy development is a demanding and often contentious process. Managers fromdifferent geographies, product lines and functional areas can have very different views on whatmakes an organization tick and may disagree even more on the performance measures that shouldbe monitored, particularly where these affect remuneration policy. Often, an organization has too many performance indicators and simply achieving functional andorganizational alignment of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can seem like a Herculean task. OldKPIs can often go unchallenged while at the same time new KPIs reflecting, say, social andenvironmental initiatives need to be developed. Recent research also shows that many organizations give too much prominence to internallygenerated KPIs controlling the controllable rather than looking outwards at threats andopportunities on the horizon which can ultimately be far more influential on performance. There is also a tendency to rely too heavily on trusted financial indicators of performance ratherthan less familiar non-financial indicators. However, there is a growing acceptance thatconcentrating purely on financial metrics may not be the best way to increase shareholder value.While financial key performance indicators will always have a prominent role in measuringperformance of a business, they are widely acknowledged to be of limited value when predictingfuture performance. Unfortunately, traditional financial measures such as profit , cash generatedfrom operations , and revenues booked so called, lagging indicators, provide little insight intofuture prospects and outcomes. CommunicationIs the message clear? The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 4Untitled DocumentOn the other hand, non-financial indicators are often tightly correlated with future financialperformance. For example, measures of customer satisfaction are often linked with a propensity tobuy goods and services in the future. Similarly, measures around innovation, such as the percentageof sales derived from new products inform about a company s medium to longer term prospects forsuccess. Likewise, employee commitment gives insights into future workforce attrition and, byimplication, the ability to earn revenues in the future.While these key areas of performance such as employee engagement, customer loyalty andinnovation may be impossible to express in purely financial terms and can be difficult to measure,few doubt that they are critical to assessing the health of a company. There are also internal challenges around the compatibility of KPI s in one part of an organizationwith another. For example, the strategic decision to take market share in emerging markets with anew product may be at odds with financial key performance indicators such as increasing profit.After all, markets in developing economies are usually expensive to enter and exploit normally withlower returns. Clearly, this simplistic scenario is capable of generating conflicting organizationalbehavior around the allocation of capital.But how do you identify such conflicts from a sprawling mass of information and how do you keep astrategy agile and flexible in the face of increasingly volatile markets?Visualising a strategy and keeping a handle on the integrity of the links between, corporate vision,strategic objectives and the KPIs which support them is a huge challenge. Yet it is vital that themanagement team can view the entire performance world , define the principle objectives andtactics necessary to deliver the strategy, assess the correct relationships and agree on the aspectsof performance to measure.Fig 1: Strategy Trees in Oracle s Hyperion Performance Scorecard application depict both the objectives and how youintend to achieve them.Creating a Strategy Tree is an excellent way to not only layout what it is you are trying to achieve, butalso how you intend to achieve it. Strategy trees depict each strategic objective (what you are a tryingto achieve), the related critical success factors (what you must have or be good at to achieve theobjective) and ultimately the actions or initiatives related to each critical success factor (what you willdo in order to achieve the critical success factors and ultimately the objective). Thinking through andillustrating this logical network enables everyone to clearly see the plan. Add to it the people, teamsand departments responsible to get it done and you have a solid plan of action.Strategy Maps and Trees The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 5Untitled DocumentStrategy maps typically contain a subset of objects from the strategy tree. To create a single page view of the organizational strategy, the idea of including only objectives and their relationship to oneanother on the strategy map has become very popular especially with executives. Inevitablythough, the development of objectives and the relationships between them can become unwieldyand complex in a multinational organization. Maintaining a coherent view of each strategic scenariocan be a huge presentational challenge using traditional paper based tools or spreadsheets. Add ina huge number of KPIs and the scale of the problem starts to become clear. It is not surprising thatmany strategies end up as a collection of printed PowerPoint slides, Excel spreadsheets and Worddocuments gathering dust on a shelf.Fig 2: Strategy Maps in Oracle s Hyperion Performance Scorecard application graphically show the keyinterrelationships between strategic objectives and current performance based on KPIsStrategy maps, trees and related scorecards overcome this by using visualization techniques, whichenable large amounts of information to be displayed on screen at one time. They enable the integrityof relationships between objectives and KPIs to be explored and confirmed during the strategydevelopment phase and changes can be made on the fly. Once agreed upon, strategy maps becomean active window on performance enabling under and over achievement to be monitored togetherwith the consequences for the organization. Finally, they provide a platform for articulating strategyand linking it into operational plans and budgets.The inherent agility of a strategy map is important since strategy development can no longer beviewed as a standalone activity. In a climate of constant change, the strategy has to be accessibleand constantly fine tuned in response to market conditions. In other words the strategy has to be aninextricable part of a broader performance management regime which constantly tests and refinesthe strategy as new information comes to light. However, the thinking around strategy developmentand how it relates to broader performance management is still evolving as the very latestmethodologies attempt to recognise more complex market dynamics, stakeholder interests andmore diverse trading relationships. The traditional performance management cycle (Figure 3) whichfocuses on a series of linked applications or tasks no longer adequately describes the true nature ofthese core business processes . The newly emerging paradigm of Strategy to Success takes amore process oriented view of performance management, underscoring the real purpose ofperformance management with more conviction. For example, the starting point for strategy developments is re-positioned in the phrase Gain toSustain which more aptly recognises that meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders such asemployees, customers and even environmentalists is the crucial first step to creating value in one sown organization. Investigate to Invest encapsulates the market perspective and the need toThe challenge of alignment The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 6Untitled Documentunderstand the market dynamics affecting the business an outside-in viewpoint that has to bemarried up with an inside-out perspective. Fig 3: The traditional performance management cycle The traditional performance management cycle depicted in Figure 3 above is a continuous processmade up of a series of iterative steps. The strategy establishes the goals and performancemeasures for the organization which are built into business plans, budgets and forecasts which aremonitored continuously against actuals, analysed and reported upon. The results of these analysesare then used to inform and refine the strategy which is adjusted as appropriate before the wholeperformance cycle starts again which is why performance management is sometimes referred toas a closed loop process. The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 7Untitled DocumentHospitality Services Company (HSC) finds that a holistic approach to performancemanagement pays dividendsHospitality Services Company (HSC) connects people with the world s greatest travel and leisurepossibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for thehospitality industry. In 2004 it was a sector experiencing massive change, creating a myriad of peopleand process issues for the business. The lack of communication regarding strategy and its execution ledthe CEO at the time to conclude that only 25 percent of our strategy is effectively executed . Theleadership team knew that they had to align the entire organization around a common strategy if thecompany was to achieve its longer term goals.The new HSC management team had set aggressive and inspirational goals but to achieve them theyneeded to better align strategy, initiatives, measures and rewards an integrated approach to CorporatePerformance Management (CPM). The initial charter for the CPM initiative included, enhancing thetraditional strategic planning process, establishing a system of sensors to accelerate identification of,and response to, emerging opportunities, coupled with planning applications that focussed on key driversof the business. Having secured project sponsorship at the highest levels of the organization, the organization embarkedon a comprehensive change program. The initial phase was to develop a strategy map for the corebusiness units which was closely aligned with Kaplan and Norton s Balanced Scorecard framework. Foreach objective on the strategy map two to three key performance indicators (KPIs) were identifiedtogether with an initial target. When a list of current initiatives was associated with the strategicobjectives it was found that 65 percent of discretionary spending was not core to the strategy. Steps weretaken to reduce funding in this area. Operational plans were revised to make sure that they had anappropriate mix of specific metrics and targets some designed to stretch the organization. Finally, organizational alignment was embedded more deeply through the introduction of a rollingforecast that linked operational drivers to the financial results. After a period of acclimatization thisprovided greater insight into trends in performance, reduced the burden of traditional budgeting anddelivered greater confidence in forecast outcomes.The program was hugely successful in bringing about more rapid decision making, more effectiveresponses to performance gaps, better (strategically aligned) investment decisions and more accurateforecasting. HSC s CEO concluded Our CPM program has helped us to focus on the business as a wholeand build alignment across the organization.6On the other hand, Oracle s leading edge Strategy to Success paradigm depicts the performancemanagement cycle from a more meaningful process oriented view, starting with a thoroughassessment of stakeholder interests.Fig 4: Oracle s Strategy to Success Framework But how does an organization communicate its strategy and imbue its workforce with the knowledgeit needs to confidently take decisions knowing they are strategy compliant? How do they take theconcept of Strategy to Success and bring it to life? How do they transfer the strategy from theBoard table to each employee and embed it in the organization? The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 8Untitled Document Strategy is completely useless unless the results of the strategy process, theposition you choose to occupy, the way you are going to drive your company, is wellunderstood, quite broadly. Because the number one purpose of strategy isalignment, it s really to get all the people in the organization making good choices,re-enforcing each other s choices because everybody is pursuing a common valueproposition, a common way of gaining competitive advantage. 4Technology is not a magic bullet that will instantly transform an organization and remedy allcultural impediments to change. There is no substitute for traditional forms of communication suchas briefings, conferences, webcasts, seminars, workshops and other forms of meeting (both formaland informal) in order to communicate the strategy and make it relevant for a particular part of theorganization. Employees and their managers need to know how the strategy affects them, what theymight be doing differently and how they will be measured and rewarded. Failure to recognise andembrace the cultural aspects of performance management is courting disaster. Once the messages are broadly understood this needs to be followed up with the use of scorecardtechnologies. These are central to strategic alignment as they bind the users to the strategy itself,presenting them with those aspects of the strategy map (objectives and performance indicators) thatare relevant to their role, department or division. They provide a method of visualising the keymeasures of performance, their direction (performance getting better or worse), key responsibilitiesand what actions are being taken. As such, scorecards make users strategically aware, with aprecise understanding of how their actions or inactions affect the achievement of the strategy. Some sense of the importance of scorecard technology and how it can assist strategic alignment canbe taken by considering the example of a commercial aircraft in which the passengers have accessto the same information as the flight deck. Individual televisions display the aircraft s position on amap, its height, speed and displays important messages about safety and key activities. Effectively,flight crew and passengers are strategically aligned there is a common understanding of thedestination , how far the journey has progressed and each person s role in helping to get there on-time. Cooperating with the flight crew during on-board activities such as being seated quickly,storing their hand luggage, returning to their seats when requested and cleaning up the seating areaat the end of the flight, all contribute to an on-time arrival. A safe, on-time arrival is the mutualobjective for crew and passengers alike. Although this analogy is simplistic it serves to underlinethe essence of strategic alignment - which is communication.Technology and StrategyScorecards The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 9Untitled DocumentFujitsu Services OY uses scorecards to promote strategic alignmentFujitsu Services OY provides information technology (IT) services in Finland, assuming full responsibilityfor its customers IT and infrastructure and their enterprise applications. The company, which employs2,300 people decided to implement a scorecard system in its banking and insurance services businessesfor several reasons. Prior to the implementation of the scorecard system the organization s strategy and objectives wereviewed as being too abstract. There was a need to communicate the strategy to everyone simply andclearly as well as the requirement to translate strategy into operational terms. By having appropriatemeasures at different levels of the organization, systematising the existing scorecard process andproviding data more frequently it was considered possible to more readily understand cause and effectbetween measures and align the organization more completely around its strategic goals.Supported by senior management, the scorecard methodology followed a tailored version of the Kaplanand Norton Balanced Scorecard framework. Fujitsu track around 20 measures but report only those thatare crucial to the strategy on executive scorecards. Of the measures being tracked, 40 percent arefinancial, 40 percent are non-financial and 20 percent are mixed. Fujitsu executives review six to ten performance measures which are considered vital to understand thestatus of the overall organization. These measures are consistent with the organization s annual andlonger-term goals. The system enables the same measures to be reported at the level of individualmanagers, divisions and major accounts and these are linked to employee reward and compensationschemes.Fujitsu believes that the scorecard system has driven performance improvement, achieved sustainablealignment throughout the organization as it has grown and supported better communication of itsstrategy to its employees. This enhanced understanding has resulted in more strategically aligned andrapid decision making together with a more responsive organization. 6But scorecards are a means to an end not an end in themselves. Many organizations are litteredwith failed scorecarding projects because they are divorced from strategic intent. They have littlepurpose or relevance to the individuals charged with using them and perhaps do not enjoymanagement sponsorship and support.Failures also occur because the roll-out of the project uses inappropriate technology. Thescorecarding approach needs to be an integral part of the wider performance management platformso that the data required to populate the scorecard, is consistent, meaningful, accurate andavailable on demand. These objectives cannot be met by a series of disconnected spreadsheets nomatter how appealing the initial design of the scorecard may look.However, scorecards as part of an integrated performance management platform provide aninvaluable method of supporting change in the organization. The precise strategy methodologyemployed, for example, the Balanced Scorecard or 6-Sigma is a matter of personal choice foran organization. In general the available scorecard technologies are highly adaptable and support allof the leading scorecard methodologies.The usual way of depicting performance metrics on a scorecard is to use a grid style layout togetherwith icons, such as colored arrows, or other user selected icons to denote the status ofperformance. Whereas the emphasis of a dashboard is to instantly communicate performance for alimited number of measures in an eye catching way, the scorecard is designed to promote deeperenquiry and analysis.The exact layout of the scorecard is usually user definable and can normally draw on the full multi-dimensional capability of the underlying database. In this way it is possible to look at differentperformance measures, in different time periods and for different slices of the organizationalhierarchy and other dimensions. It is also possible to review historic performance of say, actualagainst target for any given measure as a graphical display. The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 10Untitled Document The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 11But performance management is about gleaning insights into future performance and guidingdecision making rather than simply looking at historic performance through a rear-view mirror. Inthe first instance, the scorecard should enable users to monitor the status of the objectives andcurrent performance by highlighting under or over achievement and on target performance, but thechallenge is then to determine what is driving current performance and what can be done to deliverabove target performance or bring below par performance back on track. Scorecards typically makeextensive use of threaded discussions, annotations, and attachments to record discussions anddocument supporting initative progress.The drill-down capability of a scorecard system enables the user to follow KPIs down thehierarchical organizational structure revealing the performance contribution made by business unitsor individuals lower down the tree. It should also be possible to drill across the hierarchies to lookat performance in different dimensions. It is important that a scorecarding system provides visualcues, flagging where acceptable performance at one level may be masking poor performance lowerdown the structure. Crucially, during drill down a scorecarding application should show the interrelationship betweenthe performance indicators and other measures such as projects, goals and objectives and start toform a view about how performance in one area is affecting performance in another. Also typically,data is not refreshed frequently as most organizations to not monitor strategy on a daily basis, butrather a quarterly, half-year or annual basis.The insights gained through scorecards and the explicit relationship between different performancemeasures derived from the strategy help to ensure that users understand exactly how their goalssupport the corporate strategy and how their decisions affect its execution. Scorecards are widelyacknowledged to be the best vehicle available for helping organizations communicate and executeon their strategies.There is no firm delineation between Dashboards and Scorecards. Both are capable of being used ina wide variety of contexts and for example, a dashboard can be employed on a tactical andoperational level as well as a strategic level by shifting the metrics to suit the organization atdifferent levels of the hierarchy. Similarly, dashboards which are generally regarded as a window onhistoric performance can complement the delivery of strategy. One main principle behind a dashboard is that it should be easy to understand so that users haveimmediate visibility of the KPIs relevant to their role and function and can assess instantly whetherperformance is on target or within an acceptable range. A dashboard is often likened to an aviator s instrument panel or head-up display of key data suchas altitude, fuel and compass bearing. In effect a handful of measures tell the pilot how he isperforming and, by inference, what remedial action needs to be taken to keep the mission(operational performance) on track. All measures on the dashboard are only relevant to theexecution of the current mission but do not indicate the importance of the mission (as would ascorecard).Dashboards make extensive use of familiar dials and charts that colorfully convey the status ofperformance at a glance, rather like the fuel gauge in a motor vehicle. Like a strategy map,dashboards often make generous use of color, traffic lighting , to denote good (green), amber(acceptable) and red (bad) performance. The criteria that determine what constitutes good,acceptable and bad performance are normally completely user definable. Typically, performancebands can be established for whole companies or defined uniquely so that individual employees canset their own personal targets within the overall boundaries defined by the company. The exactinformation shown on a performance dashboard is usually a matter of choice. An organization, forexample, can decide whether performance should be measured at the level of a product / customer,activity or project and may choose to display KPI targets or actual, current performance and status,i.e. below, above or on target. Similarly, performance dials can usually be viewed for different timeperiods. Typically, dashboard data is refreshed frequently to enable fast tactical adjustments anddoes not include much textual explanation.DashboardsUntitled Document The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 12Dashboards provide an intuitive and accessible window on current performance and are thereforehighly suited to tactical decisions and managers that are uncomfortable with tabular informationand spreadsheet style grids that pervade most information systems. The ability to view currentperformance at a glance and to increase understanding of variances by navigating to underlying datamakes dashboards an invaluable aid to tactical decisions.However, by using dashboards and scorecards in the same performance environment anorganization can encourage both strategic alignment (scorecards) and better operational analysis(dashboards). Ultimately, both of these can be used to inform and trim strategy as and whenneeded.One of the greatest management challenges of the 21st Century is guiding large and complexorganizations towards their goals. Value creation, whether expressed in shareholder value terms ordelivery of services in the public sector can only be assured if strategic intent flows uninterruptedfrom board room to shop floor. In this way individuals feel empowered to make decisions, confidentin the knowledge that their actions are aligned with the overall goals of the organization. Communication is at the heart of strategy delivery. A clearly articulated message, accompanied bysuccinct and relevant performance measures provides the baseline which nurtures and supports thedesired management behaviors. Technology plays a vital role in visioning the strategy and communicating it throughout theorganization as part of a broader performance management regime. In complex environmentsstrategy maps help management describe the performance framework, articulate performancemeasures and ensure consistency across the enterprise while integrated scorecards popularised byRobert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, have proved invaluable in communicating the essence ofstrategy across an enterprise in an engaging and relevant way. Closely coupled to budgeting,planning and reporting applications, the full panoply of modern performance management systemsprovide a robust platform for sound decision making at both a tactical and strategic level.Ultimately, for executing strategy, dashboards and scorecards are complementary tools. Dashboardstypically help you to understand and manage tactical operations while scorecards help you tounderstand and manage strategy. Great companies do not just happen by accident. Research showsthat those which are able to ride the challenge of strategic alignment create long term greatnessnot just temporary success.5SummaryUntitled Document1 The Strategy Gap, by Michael Coveney John Wiley & Sons 20032 Performance Dashboards, Measuring, Monitoring and Managing Your Business, Wayne W. Eckerson.3 Drive Business Performance, Enabling a Culture of Intelligent Execution, Bruno Aziza & Joey Fitts4 Professor Michael E Porter, Harvard University, HBR Interview, The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy5 Details in Beyond Entrepreneurship, Turning your Business into an Enduring Great Company, Prentice Hall. New York 19926 Scorecard Best Practices. Raef Lawson, Toby Hatch, Denis Desroches. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons. Inc.Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Gary Simon Group Publisher of FSN and Managing Editor of FSN Newswire.Toby Hatch, Consulting Solution Specialist, OracleNigel Youell, Director Product Marketing, OracleThe authors would like to thank Hitachi Consulting Corporation for their contribution to the HSCcase study contained in the whitepaperFSN Publishing Limited is an independent research, news and publishing organization catering forthe needs of the finance function. The report is written by Gary Simon, Group Publisher of FSN andManaging Editor of FSN Newswire. He is a graduate of London University, a Chartered Accountantand a Fellow of the British Computer Society with more than 23 years experience of implementingmanagement and financial reporting systems. Formerly a partner in Deloitte for more than 16 years,he has led some of the most complex information management assignments for global enterprisesin the private and public sector.Oracle is the leader in Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), unifying PerformanceManagement applications and Business Intelligence (BI), supporting a broad range of strategic,financial and operational management processes. Oracle provides a complete and integrated systemfor managing and optimizing enterprise-wide performance. This enables organizations to achieve astate of management excellence, which provides competitive advantage and leverages theiroperational investments.As Hitachi Ltd. s (NYSE: HIT) global consulting company, with operations in the United States,Europe and Asia, Hitachi Consulting is a recognized leader in delivering proven business and ITstrategies and solutions to Global 2000 companies across many industries. With a balanced view ofstrategy, people, process and technology, we work with companies to understand their uniquebusiness needs, and to develop and implement practical business strategies and technologysolutions. For more information, call 1.877.664.0010 or visit www.hitachiconsulting.com. While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information in this document is accurate and completesome typographical errors or technical inaccuracies may exist. This report is of a general nature and not intendedto be specific to a particular set of circumstances. FSN Publishing Limited, the authors and Oracle Corporation donot accept responsibility for any kind of loss resulting from the use of information contained in this document.Oracle Hitachi Consulting CorporationBibliography The Challenge of Strategic Alignment - A FSN & Oracle White Paper 13FSNContributing authorsLeading authorUntitled Document FSN Publishing Limited and Oracle Corporation 2008. All rights reserved.Oracle CorporationWorldwide Headquarters500 Oracle ParkwayRedwood Shores, CA94065U.S.A.Worldwide EnquiriesPhone: +1.650.506.7000+1.800.ORACLE1Fax: +1.650.506.7200www.oracle.comFSN Publishing LimitedClarendon House125, Shenley RoadBorehamwoodHertsWD6 1AGUnited KingdomWorldwide EnquiriesPhone: + 44 (0)20 8445 2688 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org