Insufficient IT staff availability, service delivery issues and difficulty proving the value of information technology (IT) continue to plague executives at organizations around the world, according to a new report by the nonprofit, independent IT Governance Institute (ITGI).

ITGI commissioned a global survey of 749 CEO-/CIO-level executives in 23 countries to determine executives’ IT governance priorities and the IT-related problems their organizations have faced. According to the IT Governance Global Status Report 2008, which is available as a complimentary download at, 58 percent of respondents noted an insufficient number of staff, compared to 35 percent in 2005. Also, 48 percent said that IT service delivery problems remain the second most common problem, and 38 percent point to problems relating to staff with inadequate skills. Thirty percent of respondents also reported problems anticipating the return on investment (ROI) for IT expenditures.

The study is a follow-up to ITGI’s 2003 and 2005 surveys and tracks IT governance trends over the past four years. Several important business developments relating to IT are identified in the report, including:

           93 percent of respondents said that IT is somewhat to very important to the overall corporate strategy—an increase of 6 percent from 2005

           IT is always on the board agenda, according to 32 percent of respondents—up from 25 percent in 2005

           18 percent of respondents said the IT department always informs the business about potential business opportunities, up from 14 percent in 2005

            Awareness of the Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) framework for IT governance has surpassed 50 percent, nearly doubling since 2005

           Use of COBIT has doubled (from 8 percent in 2005 to 16 percent)

Areas for improvement include alignment—36 percent of respondents reported that alignment between IT strategy and corporate strategy is average, poor or very poor. Additionally, implementation of IT governance-related activities varies around the globe. The percentage of organizations that are in the process of implementing or have already implemented IT governance practices in different regions are:

           South America, 27 percent

           Asia, 44 percent

           Europe, 50 percent

           North America, 50 percent

“The bottom line is that many organizations around the world are needlessly sacrificing money, productivity and competitive advantage by not implementing effective IT governance,” said Lynn Lawton, CISA, FCA, FIIA, PIIA, FBCS CITP, international president of ITGI. “Well-governed enterprises have been shown to provide a better return to stakeholders, and the same goes for governance over information technology. Executives need to direct their IT for optimal advantage, manage IT-related risks and measure the value provided by IT.”

ITGI ( was established by ISACA in 1998 to advance international thinking and standards in directing and controlling an enterprise’s information technology. ITGI developed COBIT, now in its fourth edition, and Val IT, and offers original research and case studies to assist enterprise leaders and boards of directors in their IT governance responsibilities.