Research Project: Board Level IT Governance


Co-created research project installed by the Expertise Center Digital Business & IT from Antwerp Management School together with partners CEGEKA, KPMG and Samsung. The research project focuses on the role of the Board in Enterprise Governance of IT. The main objective is to better understand the crucial accountability of the board in governing the digital assets and to provide solutions and tools for these board members to take up their accountability.

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IT in the boardroom


Case study Agfa-Gevaert: how boards engage in digital strategy & oversight

This case describes how Agfa-Gevaert has set up its organizational structure, IT governance structures, processes and relational mechanisms to bring IT expertise in the board room.

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Case study University of Antwerp: how boards engage in digital strategy & oversight
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Toolkit 2: a board level dashboard for digital strategy & oversight
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Toolkit 1: Building Digital Leadership Capabilities for the Board
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Research briefing 3: Corporate Governance Codes & Digital Leadership
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Research briefing 2: How Boards Lead & Govern Digital Assets
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Research briefing 1: Adressing the Governance Challenges of the Digital Era at Board Level
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Research context

In our increasingly digitized economy, information technology (IT) has become fundamental to support, sustain and grow organizations. Successful organizations leverage the digital innovation potential but also understand and manage the risks and constraints of technology (De Haes and Van Grembergen, 2015).

Previously, governing boards could delegate, ignore or avoid IT decisions, but the disruptive new technologies are increasingly being felt at board level. Emerging research calls for more board level engagement in enterprise governance of IT and identifies serious consequences for digitized organizations in case the board in not involved (Turel and Bart, 2014). Yet, it appears that enterprise technology governance competence remains the ‘elephant in the boardroom’ for more than 80% of boards of directors (Valentine, 2015).

Research objective

In this context, a co-created research project was installed by Antwerp Management School, CEGEKA, KPMG and Samsung, focused on the role of the Board in Enterprise Governance of IT. The main objective is to better understand the crucial accountability of the board in governing the digital assets and to provide solutions and tools for these board members to take up their accountability.

Research questions

Boards and executive management hold a crucial accountability in governing the digital assets. They need to extend their governance accountability, from a mono-focus on finance and legal as proxy to corporate governance, to include technology and provide digital leadership and organizational capabilities to ensure that the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the enterprise’s strategies and objectives.

Enterprise Governance of IT is not an isolated discipline. It is an integral part of overall enterprise governance. The need to integrate Enterprise Governance of IT with overall governance is similar to the need for IT to be an integral part of the enterprise rather than something practiced in remote corners or ivory towers.

Key research questions to be explored in this research program therefore are:

  • What is board level IT Governance?
  • What are contemporary best practices that can help boards in engaging in IT governance?
  • What competencies should board members have in digitized organizations?
  • How can boards ensure that the innovation potential coming out of technology (big data, cloud, …) is realized?
  • How can boards ensure that the risks coming out of technology are under control (e. g. cybersecurity)?
  • How should non-executive boards report on IT governance towards investors

Research approach

This research project is designed as a long-term in depth engagement between four partners, specifically Antwerp Management School, CEGEKA, KPMG and Samsung. All partners are committed to the project from July 2015 to June 2018.

The research team is committed to balance rigor and relevance in this research. As such, rigorous research methods will be applied, of which results will be translated in findings and recommendations relevant for practice.

Research results will be communicated and disseminated through business white papers, academic journal papers and events. Also, where possible, hands-on tools, education and guidance or even coaching for board members will be developed.

More information

Contact the Academic Director of the Expertise Center Digitale Business & IT (previous ITAG), Prof. dr. Steven De Haes, steven.dehaes@uantwerpen.be

Program Manager, Danny Lauwers, danny.lauwers@ams.ac.be

Valentine, E. (2015). Enterprise Business Technology Governance: new core competencies for boards of directors in digital leadership. (Doctor of Information Technology Monograph), Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

De Haes S., Van Grembergen W. (2015), Enterprise Goverance of IT: Achieving Alignment and Value, Springer (2nd edition).

Turel, O., Bart, C. (2014): Board level IT Governance and organizational performance, European Journal of Information Systems, 23, 223-239

How can I help you?

Anja Tys, Corporate Marketing Communication Manager