Global Status Report on the Governance of Enterprise It (Geit)-2011



Ask 834 business executives and heads of information technology (IT) what they think about the role of IT in their enterprise and you might expect to get 834 different answers. But that was not the case in this fourth edition of the IT Governance Institute’s Global Status Report on the Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT). The survey, covering 21 countries, 10 industries, and both large and small enterprises, revealed a significant degree of accord on the contribution of IT to business success, the challenges and opportunities connected with IT, the impact of the economic crisis and views on IT outsourcing, social networking and the cloud.

Key findings include:

  • The good and the not-so-good—Value creation of IT investments is one of the most important dimensions of IT’s contribution to the business (mentioned by more than nine out of 10 respondents). But challenges exist: increasing IT costs and an insufficient number of IT staff are the most common IT-related issues experienced by respondents in the past 12 months.
  • IT leading or following—There is a correlation between the position of the head of IT in the enterprise’s hierarchy and the pro-active nature of the IT department. Overall, 70 percent of respondents noted that the head of IT is a member of the senior management team, but this figure increases to 80 percent for those enterprises where IT has a proactive role.
  • A focus on governance—Governance of enterprise IT (GEIT) is a priority with most enterprises—only five percent indicated that they do not consider it important. Two-thirds of respondent enterprises have some GEIT activities in place, the most common being the use of IT policies and standards, followed by the employment of defined and managed IT processes. The main driver for activities related to GEIT is ensuring that IT functionality aligns with business needs, and the most commonly experienced outcomes are improvements in management of IT-related risk and communication and relationships between business and IT.
  • Moving out—Outsourcing is highly prevalent across the board, but especially in larger enterprises and those where IT is considered important or very important to the delivery of the business strategy or vision.
  • Cloudy days—Respondents reported that their heads were in the cloud: 60 percent use or are planning to use cloud computing for non-mission-critical IT services, and more than 40 percent use or are planning to use it for mission-critical IT services. For companies that do not have plans to use cloud computing the main reasons are data privacy and security concerns.
  • Watching expenses—The global economic downturn has had an effect on IT activities, the primary response initiatives being: (1) a reduction in contractor staff, (2) a reduction in permanent staff and (3) a consolidation of the infrastructure.
  • Social networking—The use of Facebook or Twitter at work is not highly prized; only one out of five respondents believes that the benefits of employees using social networking outweigh the risks.

(1. Executive Summary)