Top 10 IT Governance Principles & Its Importance

Top 10 IT Governance Principles & Its Importance

Written By : Bakkah

15 Jan 2024

Despite its relative newness, IT governance ensures the integrity of the IT systems & provides appropriate controls for risk management, records management, asset management & compliance with laws and regulations. By aligning IT with enterprise goals and strategies, it drives success.  

Thus, governance of IT deals with IT operations, financials, and financial controls. Several fundamental principles of enterprise governance are shared by good IT governance practices. 

What is IT Governance in short?  

The governance of information technology - IT - refers to the processes, structures, and leadership that enable an organization to keep its strategies and objectives relevant and secure through IT. 

By effectively managing and optimizing IT, an organization can achieve its goals, complement its objectives, or support its objectives in achieving them. 

 Different names of IT Governance 

IT Governance is also known as: 

  • Information technology governance - ITG. 
  • Information and communications technology governance - ICT Governance. 
  • Corporate Governance of information technology - CGIT. 
  • Corporate governance of information and communications technology. 
  • Enterprise governance of information technology - EGIT. 

IT Governance Importance to Businesses 

  • Primary Structure: 

The primary objective of ITG is to ensure that investments in IT generate business value and mitigate the risks associated with IT. 

A structured organization with clearly defined roles for information, business processes, applications & infrastructure can be implemented to achieve this goal. 

  • Supportive Functions: 

IT functions need a structure or framework to support the strategy and objectives of organizations and businesses.

  • Depending on the size of the business:

the industry, or the laws or regulations in effect, we need a particular framework and level. 

The more detailed the IT governance structure, the larger and more regulated the organization. 

  • Effective Management:

A long-established relationship between IT governance and the effective creation of value from IT investments has been noted as the driving force behind successful IT management.  

  • Accountable Communication: 

Establishing joint accountability for IT investments will allow effective communication between customers and providers.  

  • Enforced Processes: 

To review and reduce redundancy in the IT environment and drive cost savings, IT portfolio management enforces governance processes to manage IT investments, projects, and resources at agencies.  

  • Successful Systems: 

As a result of governance, federal agencies can effectively manage their IT assets and make sure the following basic elements are in place for success. 

Top 10 IT Governance Principles 

Adapt a proactive approach to governance:  

  • Senior executives are required to take the lead and allocate resources, attention, and support to governance. 
  • The best place to begin is to use mature business governance processes. Additionally, each mechanism of overall governance requires regular review in addition to active design.  
  • The number of effective mechanisms should be kept to a minimum. 
  • A typical enterprise with effective IT governance has between six and ten well-integrated and functional mechanisms. 
  • As part of any governance redesign, there should be an assessment, improvement, and then consolidation of the number of mechanisms. 

Understand when it is time to redesign: 

  • Individuals must learn new roles and relationships when rethinking the entire governance structure.  There is no quick fix to learning. 
  • Thus, governance redesign should be infrequent. It takes many months to implement a transformation besides IT issues. 

Include stakeholders and executive managers: 

  • For IT governance to be successful, CIOs must be effectively involved. Participation by other senior managers is required in committees, approval processes, and performance reviews.  
  • Strategic decisions must be made by senior management. Due to this, the exception process is rarely addressed by senior management.  
  • Businesses use more sophisticated and diverse technologies to perform many business functions as IT affects more business functions. 
  • The executive-level IT Steering Committee may be contacted if an exception has strategic implications. 

Choose key elements and strategic objectives: 

  • Governance, like strategy, requires choices. In IT governance, it is not possible to meet all objectives, 
  • But conflicting objectives should be highlighted for discussion when they exist. 
  • Goal conflicts can be managed effectively with a few business principles used by top-performing companies. These business principles guide IT principles. 


Allocate resources appropriately: 

  • By ensuring the proper handling of decisions, business events, and assets, IT governance ensures the accuracy, reliability, and suitability of records.  
  • To accomplish this, adequate resources must be allocated. Resources are properly trained, and roles and responsibilities are documented.  

Improve through independent review continuously: 

  • IT governance processes must undergo frequent independent and objective reviews to be continuously improved. 

Own the IT governance for accountable performances: 

  • Like any large organizational initiative, IT governance should have an owner and accountability.  
  • The board has responsibility for governance, but it expects or delegated that a particular individual or group will be responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring IT governance.  

Utilize multi-level governance: 

  • IT governance must be considered at several levels in large businesses with multiple business units. 
  • Starting from a few enterprise-wide strategies and goals, enterprise-wide IT governance is formed.  
  • A separate but interconnected IT governance layer is necessary for enterprises with separate IT functions based on divisions, business units, or geographical areas. 
  • A lower-level organization usually needs synergies, while a higher-level organization requires autonomy. 

Maintain transparency and educational environment: 

  • Information technology governance cannot be over-transparent or under-educated. A more educated person has a greater level of transparency, and vice versa.  
  • There is greater confidence in governance when the processes are more transparent. In the absence of transparency in the governance process, fewer people follow it.  
  • When firms lack confidence in governance, they are less likely to follow rules intended to improve firm performance. 
  • Governance effectiveness is negatively impacted by special deals and nontransparent governance. 

Implement the six key assets with common mechanisms:  

  • Enterprises generate business value through the implementation of 6 key assets, including human resources, financial resources, physical resources, intellectual property, information technology, and relationships.  
  • A well-managed asset may not add synergistic value, but each asset might be expertly managed. 
  • Within a project, many enterprises successfully coordinate their six assets, but across the enterprise, they are not able to do so through governance. 
  • Rather than creating a new, independent IT mechanism, consider broadening the charter of the committees used to govern other key assets to include IT. 

To conclude, businesses need to utilize IT systems to maintain secure processes and a fast-paced environment. 

Hence, business owners and decision-makers shall ensure that IT governance implementations go hand-in-hand with the strategic objectives of the companies. 

This would drive an effective value from IT investments and drive a more successful IT management process, especially when applying the above-mentioned key 10 principles of IT governance.