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IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results Hardcover – June 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Not a simple "how-to-run-your-IT" cookbook, Weill and Ross have studied how over 200 corporations manage their IT. There is no quick fix, no "silver bullet" that will solve all managerial angst. What emerges instead is a deeper understanding of the strategic role of IT for a wide range of large companies.
By classifying IT decisions into 5 types, and then classifying the way decisions are made into several catchy "pop-psych" groups (such as IT Monarchy, Business Monarchy, Duopoly, and Federal) the authors have formulated a very succinct framework. This framework could act as a touchstone for those companies whose current governance is ineffective or unclear.
Companies who are struggling with IT, and those of us who advise them, really need to read this book and consider the research conducted. Whether or not you are as enamoured of the framework as I, you should certainly be aware of it because it will be very important in future work.
Among the points the authors make is that IT is a strategic asset, and effective governance links IT to strategy and performance. I fully agree with this approach, and especially like the recommendations the authors make for implementing and managing IT governance, as well as the resources in the appendix which show which companies were surveyed.
If you are following CObIT you may have issues with this book; however, if you read through it with an objective mind you will find that the approach will work effectively, and does come closer to IT-business alignment than the CObIT approach.
2015 update to my 2004 review:
Over ten years later, this book is still unsurpassed in terms of the relevance and depth of coverage. Many IT fads have come and gone (think SOA, Green IT) and the field has had nice new advances (cloud computing, apps, ecosystems). Yet the topics in this book are enduring. The most original aspects in this book, in retrospect, are: (a) the whole discussion about decision rights, (b) centralization versus decentralization of IT, and (c) the discussion of how IT infrastructure and apps must be tackled separately but must also cohere. The second author also published an article in HBR ("Six IT decisions IT should not make") that is a nice complement to this book. I still highly recommend this book.
Chapters 2 and 3 expound a theoretical model explaining the choices ("the five key IT decisions") organizations have in how to manage and control IT as an integral part of their general business management, and a blueprint for organizational design ("IT governance archetypes"). Later chapters use the model to analyze organizations using real-world data from the research projects, and presents numerous case studies to illustrate the range of options available and the choices made. This approach encourages business and IT executives to take a long hard look at their own day-to-day IT governance arrangements, and think about the higher-order design of their IT management systems.
The case studies and other research data build a compelling value case for sound IT governance. Comments in the preamble, back cover flaps and first chapter such as "firms with superior IT governance have at least 20 percent higher profits than firms with poor governance" are hooks to spark a manager's interest in the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Exactly what my son wanted so very pleased with the purchasePublished 15 months ago by Barbara H. Flowers
It is not a fun read. The same concepts could have been written in less academic but more practical way.Published 17 months ago by Naveed Hussain
Good time tested book that clears a lot of stuff about IT governance.Published 20 months ago by vcr