Information Technology (IT) may be used for organizational efficiency, but should also be flexible to adapt to the rapidly changing competitive business environment. In competitive business circumstances, management continually asks: (1) How flexible must the firm be in investing in IT in order to meet unknown business needs in the future? At the same time, how efficient must the firm be in order to meet current business needs?; (2) How well must the firm align its business strategy with IT investment in order for it to support its strategic goals?; (3) how to construct a decision path for IT investments with respect to flexibility, efficiency and alignment between business strategy and IT investments? Although many researchers have struggled to answer these questions, they generally provide no means for incorporating these factors into the rr investment decision process. This paper suggests a method that identifies the degree of flexibility required (alpha -value), and accounts for and incorporates the alpha -value in making IT investments. The proposed method is based on a product development method called Quality Function Deployment (QFD). It will be applied to a real case of the "H-company" in Korea to validate and evaluate the proposed methodology. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.