Enterprises exist to deliver value to their stakeholders. Delivering value is achieved by operating within a value and risk atmosphere that is
acceptable and advantageous and using resources responsibly. In a rapidly changing environment, speedy direction setting and quick reaction to change are
essential. Decision-making accountabilities must be shared among many people - and when accountability must be shared, governance comes into play. Successful enterprises ensure they have implemented an overarching system of governance that facilitates the achievement of their desired outcomes, both at the enterprise level and at each level
within the enterprise.
Although it is difficult to imagine today, there was a time in the not-too-distant past that the term “governance” was not used so often or so freely. Based on Latin and Greek words referring to the steering of a ship, governance was a concept primarily restricted to the CEO’s office and the boardroom.
But several global business catastrophes over the last few decades brought the term to the forefront of business thinking. Massive trader fraud at Barings Bank and Société Générale uncovered a breakdown in the monitoring of internal processes. Enron’s phenomenal success was revealed to be due, in some measure, to systematic, long-term, organized accounting fraud.
Many entities have proposed definitions of governance, but they tend to be focused on a particular view or type of governance, activities or roles. The following high level definition a governance system is proposed, to cover all types and views:
The governance mapping initiative was undertaken for many reasons. In addition to gaining a better understanding of the governance space and how the many components fit together, the intent is to populate the resulting maps in ways that will help all organizations
dealing with these topics gain a better comprehension of what and who are operating in the governance space. Ultimately, it is hoped that the final
product will encourage and assist enterprises to apply effective and efficient governance concepts within their own structures.
Effective enterprise governance will result in improved performance and compliance to external requirements, yet successful implementation remains elusive for many enterprises. Enablers need to be supported with carefully prescribed roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. They also require an appropriate set of guiding objectives and organisational structures that tailored to the enterprise.
This material is the outcome of an initiative let by the IT Governance Institute (ITGI) to provide a high-level overview of governance: its definition, components, participants and views. It is
designed to be brief, simple, straightforward and practical. with a minimum of theory. The principal diagram below is intended to depict "governance on a page" - holistically and completely—and is supported with further details.
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WorldCom, Global Crossing and Tyco followed, and soon there was a clear and widely accepted need for more rigorous governance over companies’ systems of internal control. Increasingly, legislation is being passed to address this need. Worldwide, regulations such as Basel II, the Canadian Privacy Act, HIPAA, Australia’s Corporate Law Economic Reform Program and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have moved governance to the top of agendas at all layers within enterprises.
A governance system is all the means and mechanisms that will enable multiple stakeholders at various levels of an entity for specific purposes to have an organized say in setting direction and monitoring compliance and performance so as to create for them acceptable value, while taking acceptable risk levels and using limited resources responsibly.
In the definition, the enablers of governance are “framework, principles, structure, processes and practices”; the activities are “set direction and monitor compliance and performance.”
The mapping will therefore provide enterprises with guidance on existing standards, frameworks and methodologies that can assist them in
implementing effective governance quickly and efficiently and that incorporate the best practices appropriate to them. Information plays a vital role
in the space and fosters good communication among related parties for better governance.
Frameworks, best practices and standards are available to support the design of effective policies, processes and procedures. However, frameworks, best practices and standards are useful only if they are adopted and adapted effectively. There are many challenges that need to be overcome and issues that need to be addressed if a system of governance is to be implemented successfully.
Governance on a Page
Governance Views of IT
Governance Views of IT Mapping
Call for Contributors
Frequently Asked Questions
Glossary of Terms
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