The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) recently published its IT Governance Global Status Report 2008, which is based on a survey of IT executives and managers in that was conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers during the second half of 2007.
The survey (which can be downloaded from http://www.itgi.org
) sought to discern the recognition and acceptance of IT governance at chief officer (ie, director) level, as well as to find out the levels of expertise that are available, and what frameworks are recognised, adopted, or likely to be adopted.
As one of the best known governance and control frameworks, Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) was developed by ITGI, the survey also aimed to measure its penetration and perception.
The results are particularly interesting because the survey respondents were from countries around the globe. At least 40% more organisations participated from both Europe and Asia than from North America, and about 20% of the overall total were from outside any of these dominant areas. They also represent the situations of organisations in many spheres of activity, with 60% of respondents involved in four of the largest private sectors, but almost a quarter being from the public sector.
Questioning to discern whose interests are being represented, the survey found that the CIO is the key sponsor for IT governance within 40% of respondent organisations, and although a hefty 25% responded that the sponsor in their organisation is the CEO, the overall results show that IT managers are still those dealing with the day-to-day oversight of IT governance.
Looking a little more deeply at ongoing business involvement, only about a quarter of respondents stated their organisations to be in a position where business (rather than IT) management were held accountable for, or led the decision-making with regards to IT priorities and objectives, and roughly the same proportion responded such that their business management was not heavily involved, or was engaged only minimally.
Encouragingly, over 50% of respondents' organisations at least have well-defined IT governance processes in place and of these, 16% defined their IT governance processes as well-functioning and also capable of undertaking performance measurement, and 8% reckoned to be continuously optimising their governance processes based on the performance measures gained.
If these were seen as the 'successful half' of the organisations responding, it is also encouraging to note that of the 'less successful', 30% have sufficient awareness to state that IT governance is important, and to have instituted a number of related ad hoc measures. Excluding organisations pre-selected as using COBIT, the survey found that 50% of respondents were aware of COBIT, and 30% of those had adopted it in at least some areas.
Butler Group believes that without effective governance, the business value that can be realistically delivered by IT is likely to be substantially impaired. For maximum benefit, IT governance should involve a joint business and IT framework and accountability structure, and this should be applied to all IT-related decisions on investment and change.
The use of IT governance frameworks such as COBIT can substantially speed up deployment, and therefore we welcome the increased focus and visibility that the ITGI report brings, and encourage many more organisations to join those reaping the benefits of improved and formalised IT governance