IT Governance in the Public Sector in a Developing Country

IT Governance in the Public Sector in a Developing Country

Edephonce N. Nfuka (Stockholm University and Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) and Lazar Rusu (Stockholm University and Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-390-6.ch025
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on IT governance in the public sector organizations in a developing country like Tanzania. Today in many organizations in the public sector, the use of IT has become crucial in sustaining and extending the organizations’ strategies and objectives. This pervasive use of technology has caused a critical dependency on IT that calls for a specific focus on IT governance. In this chapter, we provide its overview and, based on the analysis of five case studies indicate the current practices, problems, and consequences in the Tanzanian public sector environment. Moreover, we reveal twelve key issues to consider for effective IT governance together with the trends and future research in improving ICT-enabled transformational government in public service delivery in this environment. In this context, the chapter contributes to an understanding of the IT governance practices and related ICT-enabled transformational government issues and complexities involved in the transformational phase for better public service delivery in a developing country like Tanzania.
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It Governance Overview

This section provides an overview to IT governance. The focus is on the strategic alignment between business and IT and its approaches for better value delivery. The first part provides insight into what IT governance entails, while the rest covers the elements for its implementation, metrics and frameworks in practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Developing Countries: A broad range of countries that generally lack a high degree of industrialization, infrastructure, and other capital investment, sophisticated technology, widespread literacy, and advanced living standards among their populations as a whole.

Performance Management: Is one of the IT governance focus areas that tracks and monitors strategy implementation, project completion, resource usage, process performance and service delivery, using, for example, balanced scorecards that translate strategy into action to achieve goals measurable beyond conventional accounting.

Strategic Alignment: Is one of the IT governance focus areas that optimizes the relational mechanisms between the business and IT organization by working on the IT effectiveness of the organization in order to maximize the business value from IT. It aims at establishing relationship between the business and IT in which IT becomes a strategic enabler for business growth.

IT Governance Structures: Are part of the IT governance mechanisms that involve structural (formal) devices and mechanisms for connecting and enabling horizontal, or liaison, contacts between business, and IT decision-making functions. It includes clearly defined roles and responsibilities and a diversity of IT/business committees like the IT steering committee.

Public Sector: The part of the economy and administrative life that deals with government services delivery by and for the government, whether national, regional or local/municipal.

IT Governance Relational Mechanisms: Are part of the IT governance mechanisms that are the catalyst for attaining and sustaining business-IT alignment, even when structures and processes are in place. They are about the active participation of, and collaborative relationship among, corporate executives, IT management, and business management.

IT Value Delivery: One of the IT governance focus areas that execute the value proposition throughout the delivery cycle, ensuring that IT delivers the promised benefits against the strategy, concentrating on optimizing costs & proving the intrinsic value of IT.

Resource Management: Is one of the IT governance focus areas about optimal investment in, and the proper management of, critical IT resources i.e. applications, information, infrastructure and people. Key issues relate to the optimization of knowledge and infrastructure.

IT Governance: An integral part of enterprise governance and consists of the leadership and organizational structures and processes that ensure the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives.

Risk Management: Is one of the IT governance focus areas that require risk awareness by senior corporate officers, a clear understanding of the enterprise’s appetite for risk, understanding of compliance requirements, transparency about the significant risks to the enterprise, and embedding of risk management responsibilities in the organization.

IT Governance Processes: Are part of the IT governance mechanisms that refers to formalization and institutionalization of strategic IT decision-making and monitoring procedures like the IT balanced scorecard.

E-Government: The use of Information Technology to provide delivery of public services to citizen, business partners, and those working in the public sector. It provides citizen and organizations a more convenient access to government information and services.

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