Does it fit?

Eight years of lecturing Business-IT alignment

It is already eight years since I started to collaborate with my college prof. Pavlo Brin (from National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” NTU-KPI) in my master course “IT and services management”. We collaborate in a section of the course, which is related to “Business-IT alignment”, where our courses act complementary as follows.

Ukrainian, NTU-KPI students (acting as a “business department”), have business knowledge, so they are responsible for specifying the “business strategy” related to a real company (see figure below). Complementary,  University of Maribor students have technical skills (acting as an “IT department”) and are so responsible to prepare supportive IT strategy and related tasks (also by considering COBIT5) including establishing a common collaborative environment in Google Apps.

The focal idea of collaboration

Results (for “IT department” students)

Slovenian student (they represent an IT department) perform IT-related tasks, which result in the following outcomes*:

  • Establishment of a common collaborative environment and a project website mainly by using Google services.
  • Identification of IT goals, defined upon business goals and establishment of a Business-IT goals table based on COBIT5.
  • IT investment plan, based on COBIT5 (with emphasis on APO05 and BAI01 processes).
  • Implementation of Change management process for a prototype “help-desk” application by using GitHub.
  • A common Report of the project, written in three languages (Slovenian, Ukrainian, English).
  • etc.

* Not all outcomes are listed. While the collaboration has evolved over the years, the outcomes also depend on the study year.

Student reports published in three different languages

“Side effects”

Beside getting theoretical and practical insights into Business-IT alignment, the side effects are of immense importance for the students, e.g.:

  • They get an experience of internationalization (language, cross-cultural communication, etc).
  • They receive a feeling of working in an international company (in a company which has subdivisions in different countries).
  • They see that their knowledge is indeed important for successful work of a company (knowledge being taught to them is not “dead”).
  • They receive experiences on how to co-operate with other subdivisions of a company. For example, as a rule it is very difficult for accountants to work with a marketing department, as well it is difficult for an IT sector to communicate with other subdivisions of a company.
  • They see that any company (production, services, whichever, rather than just IT company) needs an IT strategy.

Last but not least, the complete collaboration is performed in a virtual environment with zero additional costs.

Do you have any experience in teaching Business – IT alignment? Share your ideas with us.

I want to express my gratefulness to my friend, prof. Pavlo Brin, the “core engine” of this long-lasting and successful collaboration and to my assistant Jernej Huber, who assures that everything performs smooth on the operational level.


  • HUBER, Jernej, POLANČIČ, Gregor, BRIN, Paul. Lessons learned – the case study of an e-collaborative international student cooperation. V: EICL conference proceedings, Crimea, Ukraine, October 1-2, 2012. DANKO, Taras (ur.). International conference “E-internationalization for Collaborative Learning”. [S. l.: s. n.], 2012, str. 1-5, ilustr. 
  • BRIN, Paul, PROHORENKO, Elena, HUBER, Jernej, POLANČIČ, Gregor. Designing of international project outsourcing in educational process. V: EICL conference proceedings, Crimea, Ukraine, October 1-2, 2012. DANKO, Taras (ur.). International conference “E-internationalization for Collaborative Learning”. [S. l.: s. n.], 2012, str. 1-2, ilustr. 
  • POLANČIČ, Gregor, JOŠT, Gregor. Investigating e-learning through the lens of e-collaboration. V: EICL conference proceedings, Crimea, Ukraine, October 1-2, 2012. DANKO, Taras (ur.). International conference “E-internationalization for Collaborative Learning”. [S. l.: s. n.], 2012, str. 1-4, ilustr. 
  • ŽIVKOVIČ, Aleš, POLANČIČ, Gregor, HUBER, Jernej, BRIN, Paul. Internationalization of education : 3 years of cooperation NTU “KHPI” with the University of Maribor. V: Materiali. [S. l.: s. n.], 2013, str. 148-151. 
  • POLANČIČ, Gregor, BRIN, Paul, SHYPILOVA, M. Slovenian economy challenges : lessons for Ukraine. V: Financovo-kreditna dijalʼnisi problemi teorii ta praktiki’. [S. l.: s. n.], 2013, str. 1-4. 
  • BRIN, Pavlo, POLANČIČ, Gregor (urednik), HUBER, Jernej (urednik). Business – IT alignment : report on bilateral student projects. Maribor: Faculty of electrical engineering and computer science, 2014. 21 f., ilustr. 
  • BRIN, Paul, POLANČIČ, Gregor (urednik), HUBER, Jernej (urednik). Usklajevanje poslovanja in informatike : poročila bilateralnih študentskih projektov (eng. Business-IT alignment: reports of student projects). Maribor: Fakulteta za elektrotehniko, računalništvo in informatiko, 2014. 19 f., ilustr. 
  • POLANČIČ, Gregor, BRIN, Paul, PROKHORENKO, Olena. Trends of development of IT outsourcing. V: Materiali. [S. l.: s. n.]. 2016, str. 49-50. 
  • POLANČIČ, Gregor, BRIN, Paul, KRAVTSOVA, T. I. Diversification as a tool of competitive advantage. V: Materiali. [S. l.: s. n.]. 2017, str. 12-14. 

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