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IT Governance Defined

May 28, 2008

Information technology, and its use in business environments, has experienced a fundamental transformation in the past decades. Since the introduction of IT in organizations, academics, and practitioners conducted research and developed theories and best practices in this emerging knowledge domain. This resulted in a variety of IT governance definitions of which some are formulated below.

  • IT governance is the responsibility of executives an the board of directors, and consists of the leadership, organizational structures and processes that ensure that the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategy and objectives.
  • IT governance is specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT.
  • IT governance is the organizational capacity exercised by the board, executive management and IT management to control the formulation and implementation of IT strategy and in this way ensure the fusion of business and IT.

IT governance is situated at multiple layers in the organisation: at a strategic level where the board is involved, at a management level within the C-suite layer and finally at the operational level with IT and business management. This implies that all these levels, business as well as IT, need to be involved in the IT governance process and they have to understand their individual roles and responsibilities within the framework.

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