System governance maturity model

Read whitepaper (pdf)

Management summary

System governance is a technique for managing IT systems. It significantly reduces cost and risk.

System governance delivers benefits in many different situations. It can be used for single tactical interventions, or for broad strategic initiatives.

Because it is is so versatile, it can be difficult to understand how to start with system governance, or how to progress its use. It can be difficult to understand what the benefits will be.

The system governance maturity model (SGMM) measures how far an organisation has adopted system governance. It helps organisations understand where to start with system governance, how to progress to the next stage, and what the benefits will be.

Table 1 summarises the SGMM.

At low levels of maturity, system governance reduces short term and long term risks for individual systems.

At medium levels of maturity, system governance delivers significant cost savings as it is applied more consistently to more systems.

At high levels of maturity, system governance strengthens the business-IT relationship. It helps the broader organisation better understand the contribution of the IT department. It gives senior executives meaningful control over IT policies. It helps the IT department build the business case for IT investment.

The SGMM shows that system governance delivers significant benefits to all organisations, whatever their current level of maturity.

Table 1. System Governance Maturity Model


What is reviewed

Who sets criteria

Additional benefits

Priority for improvement

5. Strategic

All systems

Whole business

  • Improve business-IT relationship
  • Continue to use system governance to set and monitor IT strategy.

4. Consolidated

All systems

IT department

  • Manage IT consistently
  • Focus on IT value not organisation
  • Communicate system governance to broader business.

3. Committed

All systems

IT work group

  • Apply benefits to all systems
  • Improve performance management
  • Agree criteria across IT department

2. Standardised

Important systems

IT work group

  • Better risk and cost reduction
  • Improve IT infrastructure ROI
  • Free up key staff
  • Reduce cost of compliance
  • Apply system governance more widely

1. Ad hoc

Important systems


  • Reduce risk and cost
  • Reuse criteria

0. Non existent



  • None
  • Get started

Read full whitepaper (pdf)