2.6 ICT Governance

2.6.1 Introduction

ICT is one of the key assets of an institution. ICT - the people, processes, infrastructure and information - is embedded across the institution creating an enterprise wide community of owners and stakeholders. As a major investment ICT is expected to deliver value and has been found to deliver greater 'value' for an institution when used as a strategic enabler rather than being influenced by a stream of diverse tactical initiatives.

'A governance structure with buy-in and setting of responsibilities is essential. ... Developing and implementing strategy are not necessarily complimentary. Don't lose sight that strategy means strategy, vision and setting out the direction. ... Responsibility for implementation should be passed on for others to do.'

International research by Weill & Ross revealed that top performing organisations manage their ICT with governance structures that harmonise enterprise objectives and structures with performance goals and metrics. But, although ICT governance is now recognised as the most influential factor in realising 'value' from ICT there is no single model that fits all and each institution will need to develop its own ICT Governance to meet its unique requirements.

Now consider these key questions:

  • What is your institutional ICT governance structure?
  • What are your institution's drivers in formulating ICT strategy?
  • How does the institution manage changes in strategy and exceptions from strategy?
  • How does the institution align institutional strategy and budgets with ICT strategy and budgets?
  • How does the institution assign responsibility and accountability for ICT implementations?

Both the JISC and LFHE have commissioned research to support the understanding and development of ICT governance. Of particular note is the Framework for Information Systems Management and Governance Self-assessment Toolkit14 commissioned by JISC and developed by the University of Strathclyde, which we seek to complement by further considering alignment and integration.