Improving ICT Governance

Governance structures and processes provide assurances (both internally and externally) that decisions are made properly, clarify accountability and ensure transparency. ICT decisions are important business decisions that can:

  • impact mission-critical services
  • involve substantial investments
  • introduce risks

Good ICT governance is important since our ICT decisions may have significant impact. The external review of ITS recommended that we review the roles and responsibilities of existing ICT committees, determine where the governance gaps are, and modify the structure accordingly.

Governance challenges, combined with portfolio/project management challenges and the decentralized approach to enterprise systems are areas that need improvement. The independent spending on ICT allows for uncoordinated development of individual systems. Although it allows responsiveness and encourages innovation, it opens the U of S to the risk to ad hoc investments and to the potential duplication of effort to meet similar business needs. A framework for setting priorities for ICT projects across campus is needed. This framework would need to apply to all university ICT projects, whether done centrally or within local units. Central oversight can ensure that ICT investments are driven by institutional priorities rather than by the ability to secure funding, and allow for more efficient use of funds.

Improving the University’s ICT Governance Structure

Improving governance has been identified as a priority for the next planning cycle. Initial consultation has taken place and has identified that a review of ICT governance at the U of S needs to:

  • clarify the mandates for each of the governance bodies
  • identify who should be attending the meetings of each of the governance bodies
  • improve information flow among the different levels of governance
  • define which ICT projects need governance
  • improve horizontal ICT planning and connection with integrated planning activities