Does IT Governance Fulfill its Purpose?


Allexandre Nishioka Teodoro, Erico Przeybilovicz e Maria Alexandra V. C. Cunha



Research in focus: IT governance: an investigation into the representation of the concept

It would seem that the answer is “No” because professionals see IT governance only as a way of controlling and improving processes, without considering the importance of aligning it with the organization’s strategies and objectives

Objective: To determine the differences that exist between IT governance objectives and the policies that are actually implemented in organizations.


• Definition of IT governance as a system for distributing responsibility for IT decisions and managing technological resources by seeking to guarantee alignment of IT with organizational strategies and objectives. IT governance involves the following objectives: strategic alignment (ensuring that IT work priorities serve strategic needs); value (ensuring that IT delivers the intended benefits to the business while meeting established deadlines and cost targets); risk management (protecting physical, information and service assets); resources (using the best IT infrastructure and knowledge); performance measurement (monitoring implementation, processes and projects); accountability (defining responsibility for each decision).

• Selection of two case studies – major multinationals in the industrial sector (a manufacturer of consumer goods and another in the food sector) based in southern Brazil with IT governance that was formalized more than 5 years ago

• Data collection from more than 150 documents, 87 questionnaires and interviews with managers


• The professionals from the two companies consulted recognize IT governance, but discussions of the subject indicate that their understanding is that governance is only directed at helping the organization’s internal processes and controls.

• Their understanding of IT governance is linked to company histories of facing challenges in adjusting to standards that focus on control and accountability.

• The professionals do not identify relationship mechanisms with the business areas.

What's new

• IT governance promises benefits that are difficult to achieve because of technology professionals’ perceptions.

• IT employees see IT governance as controlling and improving processes, so they miss the possibility of aligning IT actions with the organization’s strategy.

• There are indications that the image IT professionals have of IT governance is linked to the process by which it is implemented in organizations. Care is suggested in implementation, for example, clear communication of the objectives, of how IT governance will be included in the daily routines of individuals, of what steps and tools will be used for its implementation and of where each step will lead the organization.

Contact the author Maria Alexandra V. C. Cunha.   

Learn more about the research conducted by Maria Alexandra V. C. Cunha