According to Weill and Ross, firms with above-average IT governance following a specific business strategy generated more than 20 percent higher profits than firms with poor governance following the same strategy [IT Governance, 2004]
So, what is “Governance?” According to Wikipedia, governance “relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes.”
In a business context, governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility. For example, “Corporate Governance” is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and institutions affecting the way a corporation (or company) is directed, administered or controlled. Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved and the goals for which the corporation is governed.
As a subset of corporate governance, “IT Governance” is specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in using IT. It is not about making specific IT decisions. Management makes decisions.
Recently, IT governance has become integral to the effective governance of the modern organization as businesses are increasingly dependent on IT to automate business capabilities. Moreover, regulatory environments are increasingly mandating stricter enterprise control over information.
As a subset of IT Governance, “Architecture Governance” is the practice and orientation by which enterprise architectures and other architectures are managed and controlled at an enterprise-wide level. Architecture governance does not operate in isolation, but within the hierarchy of governance structures listed above. Often, architecture-oriented decisions are segmented to align with the Enterprise Architecture domains – i.e., business, application, data and technology architectures.
The most effective approach to implementing governance is a decision-rights framework. For exampel, a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), also known as RACI matrix or Linear Responsibility Chart (LRC), defines the participation by various roles with regards to decisions. This decision-rights framework is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes. Without such a framework, governance of an corporation, IT organization and/or Enterprise Archtecture program will be sub-optim
@RayBordogna opines on Enterprise Architecture concepts.