A Research Journey into Enterprise Governance of IT, Business/IT Alignment and Value Creation

A Research Journey into Enterprise Governance of IT, Business/IT Alignment and Value Creation

Wim Van Grembergen (University of Antwerp – Antwerp Management School, Belgium) and Steven De Haes (University of Antwerp – Antwerp Management School, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1779-7.ch001
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Enterprise governance of IT is a relatively new concept in literature, and is gaining more interest in the academic and practitioner’s world. Enterprise governance of IT addresses the definition and implementation of processes, structures and relational mechanism that enable both business and IT people to execute their responsibilities in support of business/IT alignment and the creation of value from IT-enabled business investments. This article introduces important theories and practices around Enterprise governance of IT based on joint research and practical experience of the authors (and editors-in-chief of this journal) within the Information Technology Alignment and Governance (ITAG) Research Institute (University of Antwerp Management School). The article is based on the authors’ 8-year journey into Enterprise Governance of IT and aims to outline the core themes of interest of this new International Journal on IT/Business Alignment and Governance. In this way, this introductory article paves the way for many more research initiatives within this challenging research domain.
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Introducing The Concept Of Governance Of It

IT governance is one of these concepts that suddenly emerged and became an important issue in the information technology (IT) area. It is not clear when exactly the concept originated as we understand it now. Gartner introduced the idea of “Improving IT governance” for the first time in their Top-ten CIO Management Priorities for 2003 (ranked third). In 1998, the IT Governance Institute was founded to disperse the IT governance concept. In academic and professional literature, articles mentioning IT governance in the title began to emerge late 1990s. In the context of the leading academic conference Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS) IT governance was defined as organizational capacity exercised by the board, executive management and IT management to control the formulation and implementation of IT strategy and in this way ensure the fusion of business and IT (Van Grembergen, 2002).

After the emergence of the IT governance concepts, the notion received a lot of attention. However, due the focus on “IT” in the naming of the concept, the IT governance discussion mainly stayed a discussion within the IT area. We have experienced this in our research many times, where we tried to contact the CEO for an interview on IT governance issues and immediately got transferred to the CIO. In the field, many IT governance implementations are driven by IT, while one would expect that the business would and should take a leading role here as well. It is clear that business value from IT investments can not be realized by IT, but will always be created at the business side. For example, there will be no business value created when IT delivers a new CRM application on time, on budget and within functionalities, and when afterwards the business is not integrating the new IT system into its business operations. Business value will only be created when new and adequate business processes are designed and executed enabling the sales people of the organization to increase turnover and profit. (Van Grembergen & De Haes, 2009; Thorp, 2003).

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