IT Governance Framework

What is an IT Governance Framework?

Information Technology Governance Framework or IT Governance Framework is a type of framework that defines the ways and methods through which an organization can implement, manage and monitor IT governance within an organization. It provides guidelines and measures to effectively utilize IT resources and processes within an organization.[1]

The IT governance framework highlights the ‘who’ and ‘how’ elements of the operating model. It defines the principles, rules and processes that enable effective decision-making. It provides the framework to address how decisions are made, who has the authority to make decisions and how decisions are communicated. The IT governance framework must be fit-for-purpose and flexible such that it can readily adapt to the customer’s changing business requirements. The IT governance framework should be multi-tiered, ideally across three levels: executive, commercial and operational. This not only ensures effective decision-making but also provides a clear escalation path for dispute resolution. The IT governance framework also needs to define the performance measures and reporting requirements – standardizing management information across all the different parties in your operating model will enable you to effectively evaluate the success of your operating model.[2]

Components of an IT Governance Framework

Elements of an IT Governance Framework[3]
An IT Governance Framework based on three major elements:

  • Structure: Who makes the decisions? What structural organizations will be created, who willtake part in these organizations, and what responsibilities will they assume?
  • Process: How are IT investment decisions made? What are the decision-making processes for proposing investments, reviewing investments, approving investments, and prioritizing investments?
  • Communication: How will the results of these processes and decisions be monitored, measured,and communicated? What mechanisms will be used to communicate IT investment decisions to the board of directors, executive management, business management, IT management,employees, and shareholders

Common IT Governance Frameworks

Widely Used IT Governance Frameworks[4]
There are three widely recognized, vendor-neutral, third-party frameworks that are often described as 'IT governance frameworks'. While on their own they are not completely adequate to that task, each has significant IT governance strengths:

  • ITIL®: ITIL, or IT Infrastructure Library®, was developed by the UK's Cabinet Office as a library of best-practice processes for IT service management. Widely adopted around the world, ITIL is supported by ISO/IEC 20000:2011, against which independent certification can be achieved. On our ITIL page, you can access a free briefing paper on ITIL, IT service management and ISO 20000.
  • COBIT®: Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) is an IT governance control framework that helps organisations meet today’s business challenges in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management and aligning IT strategy with organisational goals. COBIT is an internationally recognised framework. In particular, COBIT's Management Guidelines component contains a framework for the control and measurability of IT by providing tools to assess and measure the enterprise’s IT capability for the 37 identified COBIT processes. Read more about COBIT here >>
  • Val IT: Val IT is a governance framework that can be used to create business value from IT investments.


  1. What is IT Governance Framework? Techopedia
  2. Explaining IT Governance Wavestone
  3. What are the Elements of an IT Governance Framework Wilson Poclín
  4. Vendor Neutral IT Governance Frameworks

Further Reading

  • The Benefits of Standard IT Governance Frameworks Datamation
  • The Role and Benefits of a Corporate Governance Framework WSJ

See Also

Frameworks for the governance of information technology
What is an Information Technology Strategy Framework?
Definition of Information Technology Governance (IT Governance)
IT Strategic Planning
Control Framework
COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology)
Infrastructure Library
Val IT
Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
Project Portfolio Rationalization