IT governance: a study of implementation, evolution and critical success factors
IT has become critical to organisations for the support, sustainability and growth of the organisation, and improving IT governance is an increasingly crucial area for organisations to foster and improve. However, current IT governance models, based on a mixture of structures, processes and relational mechanisms, have failed to include both IT governance evolution and critical success factors, which are recognised as key elements for effective IT governance. In addition, there is little research in this important area. This study aims to address the gaps in the research and to develop an extended model of governance.
This exploratory study follows a qualitative theory-building research approach in developing a more comprehensive model of IT governance than currently exists. The study conducted case studies in six selected Hong Kong public organisations in four industries to acquire data. Analysis of interviews with 20 participants including CEOs, senior executives, heads of business, heads of IT and IT managers was used to determine the essential IT governance mechanisms for effective IT governance implementation. A new model emerged from the results, which contained five key domains: structures, processes, relational, success and evolution. The first three domains contained mechanisms to directly enact IT governance processes, the success domain contained critical success factors to enable achievement of effective IT governance and the evolution domain contained mechanisms to ensure positive IT governance evolution.
The major contribution of this study is this newly developed holistic and integrated model which provides a comprehensive, integrated and total view on the essential IT governance mechanisms necessary for effective IT governance implementation. This contribution is important due to the lack of comprehensive and integrated models in the literature, and the model can be used as a reference for organisations to improve their IT governance. The IT governance mechanisms identified in this study provide the foundation for further research into the area and insights into means for improving IT governance.