Only 12 percent of companies have adequate IT governance

We have seen a lot of media interest this week in the poll we recently did on the issue of IT governance, which underlined how few boards currently have their arms around this important responsibility. Some of the articles to appear so far include ComputerWeekly, CIO and IT Week. The media obviously understands the importance of this issue – now we just need board directors to catch on too.

Our key finding was that only 12 percent of businesses take IT governance seriously enough to exercise oversight via a properly constituted board committee. How on earth can this be, when even the most technophobic director will concede that IT is the engine powering most businesses today. If you have an audit committee to manage your financial governance, how can you fail to have an IT governance committee too?

Just as with an audit committee, an IT committee needs a mix of independent and executive directors, and must provide the focus for the board’s deliberations on technology. Especially when so few directors are technologically qualified, this is something that every mid to large size organisation should have. It is high time that investors and regulators start applying pressure for these measures to be adopted, because firms clearly aren’t doing it themselves.

For those who are ready to step up to the plate, our popular book ‘IT Governance: Guidelines for Directors’ is perhaps a good starting point.