Information Technology Governance, IT Governance or ICT (Information & Communications Technology) Governance, is a subset discipline of Corporate Governance focused on information technology (IT) systems and their performance and risk management. The rising interest in IT governance is partly due to compliance initiatives, for instance Sarbanes-Oxley in the USA and Basel II in Europe, as well as the acknowledgment that IT projects can easily get out of control and profoundly affect the performance of an organization.
A characteristic theme of IT governance discussions is that the IT capability can no longer be a black box. The traditional involvement of board-level executives in IT issues was to defer all key decisions to the company’s IT professionals. IT governance implies a system in which all stakeholders, including the board, internal customers, and in particular departments such as finance, have the necessary input into the decision making process. This prevents IT from independently making and later being held solely responsible for poor decisions. It also prevents critical users from later finding that the system does not behave or perform as expected, as explained in the Harvard Business Review article by R. Nolan:
- A board needs to understand the overall architecture of its company’s IT applications portfolio … The board must ensure that management knows what information resources are out there, what condition they are in, and what role they play in generating revenue… 
- ^ Nolan, R. and F. W. McFarlan (2005). “Information Technology and the Board of Directors.” Harvard Business Review (October 2005).
- Lutchen, M. (2004). Managing IT as a business : a survival guide for CEOs. Hoboken, N.J., J. Wiley., ISBN 0-471-47104-6
- March J., Simon H., Organizations, Blackwell Publishers, 1993 (First ed. Wiley, 1958), ISBN 0-631-18631-X
- Van Grembergen W., Strategies for Information technology Governance, IDEA Group Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-59140-284-0
- Georgel F., IT Gouvernance : Maitrise d’un systeme d’information, Dunod, 2004(Ed1) 2006(Ed2), ISBN 2-10-050241-7
- Renz, Patrick S. (2007). “Project Governance.” Heidelberg, Physica-Verl. (Contributions to Economics) ISBN 978-3-7908-1926-7
- Institutes and associations
- The IT Governance Institute
- Informations Systems Audit and Control Association
- International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, Inc. – IAITAM
- Australian Computer Society Governance of ICT Committee
- IT Governance Network
- Overview of IT Governance publications