IT Governance for SMEs

IT governance has been evolving rapidly over the last years, especially in practitioners’ communities. Many aspects of IT governance have been described and detailed but little work has been done to pull it all together. Notwithstanding the efforts to develop guidelines for governing IT in SMEs, the results of applying these frameworks in SMEs are rather disappointing. Scholars and practitioners are too grounded in their way of thinking, and maintain a simple vision of a SME as a scale model of a large firm. Due to the lack of in house IT skills, SMEs depend more on IT vendors than large companies. The focus of our research is the relation of IT and SMEs in an outsourced environment. We have chosen for case study research strategy based on multiple cases. Considering the current state of the research we have formulated two general research objectives: 1) to extend our knowledge of IS failures in an outsourced SME environment and 2) to clarify the link between the insights of failed IS projects and the principles of IT governance. We see an outsourced information system failure (OSIF) as a failure of governing IT in a SME environment and we propose a new structure for IT governance in SMEs. The aforementioned general research objectives have been broken down into the following research questions: 1) why do IS projects fail in SMEs?, 2) how do IS projects fail in SMEs, 3) how do SMEs manage their IS projects? and 4) why is there not enough IT Governance in SMEs? We stated 11 hypotheses in our framework and we present the results of an enquiry on one hypothesis of the ‘lemon’ problem within a group of 484 Belgium ISVs that target the SME market.

Jan Devos
  • Hendrik Van Landeghem Dirk Deschoolmeester
Dec. 16, 2011, 12:11 p.m.
Research group