Throughout an organization, individuals make decisions daily that influence the need for and the value received from information technology. A simple one-page framework can help companies allocate IT decision rights and accountabilities so that individual IT decisions align with strategic objectives.
On the basis of two different studies — a survey of CIOs at 256 enterprises in the Americas, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region and a set of 40 interview-based case studies at large companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Carlson Companies, UPS, Delta Air Lines and ING DIRECT — the authors conclude that when senior managers take the time to design, implement and communicate IT governance processes, companies get more value from IT. Toward that end, they offer a single- page framework for designing effective IT: a matrix that juxtaposes the five decision areas (principles, architecture, infrastructure, business-application needs, and prioritization and investment decisions) against six archetypal approaches (business monarchy, IT monarchy, federal, duopoly, feudal and anarchy). The authors illustrate how successful companies use different approaches for different decisions to maximize efficiency and value for both IT and the overall enterprise. They then offer recommendations to guide effective IT governance design.