What is IT Management and IT Governance?
In opinion of Badawy (1998, p.105) management of technology (which refers also to information technology management) could be defined “as a field of study and a practice concerned with exploring and understanding technology as a corporate resource that determines both the strategic and operational capabilities of the firm in designing and developing products and services for maximum customer satisfaction, corporate productivity, profitability, and competitiveness”.
According to IT Governance Institute (2003, p. 10) “IT Governance is the responsibility of the board of directors and executive management. It is an integral part of enterprise governance and consists of the leadership and organisational structures and processes that ensure that the organisation’s IT sustains and extends the organisation’s strategies and objectives”.
Why IT Management and IT Governance are considered important research areas?
As we have noticed the research topics related to IT management and IT governance areas are a constant presence in the major conferences in Information Systems (IS) area that are held in US, Europe and around the world (ICIS, AMCIS, ECIS, HICSS and others). This could be explained because management of IT in organizations is facing a really challenge due to the process complexity and increase in his importance (McNurlin and Sprague 2006). In support of the arguments why IT management is important, Lucas (2005, p.2) has mentioned that “the most significant issues with information technology are managerial in nature, not technological” and according to Lucas(2005, p.xii) “acquiring technology is not enough to provide an advantage; the organization must manage IT obtain a return from its technology investments”. Moreover, in opinion of Luftman et al. (2004, p.2) “ the successful management of IT resource is a prerequisite for the success of Information Technology as a source of competitive advantage for an organization”. Furthermore, the business’s dependence on IT has increased therefore there is a need of IT leaders that knows to effectively plan and manage IT resources of an organization that are including technology infrastructure, human resources and business/IT relationships (Brown et al, 2012).
Today in many organizations IT is playing a very important role for the business that requires a special focus on IT governance. In opinion of Weill and Ross (2004) top performing companies succeed by implementing effective IT governance in support of their strategies. Where by effective IT governance the authors means “an actively designed set of IT governance mechanisms (e.g., committees, budgeting processes, approvals, IT organizational structure, chargeback, etc.) that encourage behavior consistent with the organization’s mission, strategy, values, norms and culture” (Weill & Ross, 2004, p.2-3). Moreover according to Weill and Ross (2004, p.3-4) “effective IT governance is the single most important predictor of the value an organization generates from IT. Last but not the least, IT governance plays an important role in supporting digital initiatives in organizations and in opinion of Tannou and Westerman (2012, p.13) “The right governance model provides appropriate levels of coordination and sharing for digital initiatives, in line with the company’s structure, culture, and strategic priorities”. Furthermore, IT governance is among those IT capabilities that is required to succeed in digital transformation (Whalen, 2017).
But what is the difference between IT management and IT governance? In opinion of Wilbanks (2008, p.61) this is the following: “If a company wants to grow and be successful, it must not only manage its IT resources, but also use those resources throughout the company as part of the governance structure”.
In summary, as we have noticed the research in IT management and IT governance areas have increased in importance due to the interest of organizations in improving their business performance and achieving competitive advantage through the use of IT, in generating business value from IT investments and in supporting digital initiatives and digital transformation in their organizations.
Research Group Objectives
1. Publications of papers in well acknowledge conferences and journals registered in NSD (2010).
2. Secure funds for research in IT management and IT governance areas from VR, Vinnova, Sida, FAS, etc.
3. Development of research cooperation with the Swedish Research School of Management and IT (MIT).
4. Development of collaboration with researchers in IT management and IT governance areas from industry and universities all around the world.
Research in IT Management and IT Governance
IT management and governance are considered important research areas not only by different scholars but also by IT and business practitioners. The research in these areas is performed by the IT Management and Governance group that is involved in the Swedish Research School of Management and IT (MIT) funded by the Swedish Government. The funds for research projects have also come from Sweden’s Government Agency for Development Cooperation (Sida) and IBM Global University Program Academic Award. Examples of research done by IT Management and Governance group are presented below.
Business-IT alignment is still a top management concern and there are many challenges that remain to be researched. One challenge on which our research has focused and which has not been explored sufficiently is the relationships between organizational culture and business-IT alignment.
A few research has been done till now to study the role of organizational culture and structure in IT governance. In this direction our research has focused to study the influence of different organizational culture types on IT governance performance outcomes in different organizations; and also IT organizational structure relationship with IT governance performance outcomes and IT governance implementation.
IT Service Management
Today, many organizations are striving to improve the quality of their IT services. In this direction the research has focused on the development of a method and a maturity model for analyzing IT strategy management from a service perspective in small/medium sized public sector IT organizations. Moreover, the research in this area has also focused on the development of a maturity model for analyzing IT service delivery in Internet Service Providers in the context of a developing country.
The decision process in large companies to outsource IT or not is a substantial business change. In this direction our research has focused on the development of a method that can be used for assessing the risk exposure in support of IT outsourcing decisions; and also on the study of the main important factors in IT outsourcing relationships and the success factors in IT outsourcing in large companies.
IT plays a key role in digital successful companies, and in the next years is expected an increase in the investments related to digital transformation. However, digital technologies are becoming very important in creating value for organizations. Therefore, to succeed in digital transformation, organizations will need to deploy organizational strategies that create value through the leverage of digital technologies. Moreover, to succeed in digital transformation there is a need to have IT governance structures, processes and relational mechanisms that support digital initiatives. One of the research topic in this area has the aim to study the IT governance mechanisms that are critical for achieving success in digital transformation.
Badawy, M.K. (1998) Technology Management Education: Alternative Models. California Management Review, 40 (4), pp. 94–115
Brown, C. V., DeHayes, D. W., Hoffer, J.A., Wainright, M.E. and Perkins, W.C. (2012) Managing Information Technology, 7th edition, pp. 5, Pearson Education
IT Governance Institute (2003) Board briefing on IT governance (2nd ed.). Retrieved on February 2, 2017 from http://www.isaca.org/restricted/Documents/26904_Board_Briefing_final.pdf
Lucas, Henry C. Jr. (2005) Information Technology: Strategic Decision Making for Managers, pp. xii, 2, John Wiley & Sons
Luftman, J.N., Bullen, C.V., Liao, D., Nash, E., and Neumann, C. (2004) Managing the Information Technology Resource: Leadership in the Information Age, pp.2, Prentice Hall
McNurlin, Barbara C. and Sprague, Ralph H. Jr. (2006) Information Systems Management in Practice, 7th ed., pp. 3, Pearson Education
NSD (2010) Norwegian register of scientific journals, series and publishers, Retrieved on September 9, 2010 from http://dbh.nsd.uib.no/kanaler/
Tannou, M., and Westerman, G. (2012) Governance: A Central Component of Successful Digital Transformation, CapGemini Consulting, Retrieved on February 17, 2019 from https://www.capgemini.com/resources/governance-a-central-component-of-successful-digital-transformation
Weill, P. and Ross, J.W. (2004) IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, pp. 2-4, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, USA
Whalen, M. (2017) Lead Digital Transformation (DX) with New IT Capabilities, Retrieved on February 17, 2019 from https://www.idc-community.com/2017/07/10/lead-digital-transformation-dx-with-new-it-capabilities/
Wilbanks, L. (2008) IT Management and Governance in Equal Parts, IT Professional, 10(1), pp. 60-61