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Original Research

Successful IT governance in SMES: An application of the Technology–Organisation–Environment theory

Olaitan Olutoyin, Stephen Flowerday

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 18, No 1 (2016), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajim.v18i1.696

Submitted: 04 June 2015
Published:  13 May 2016


Background: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the bedrock of most economies of the world. Due to global competition, SMEs are making significant investments in information technology (IT) to improve their business processes. However, a study of extant literature on the subject of IT governance in SMEs has highlighted the fact that the implementation of structural controls to enable effective IT governance is often difficult, resulting in project failures and loss of income.

Objectives: This paper seeks to examine ways by which SMEs can successfully adapt a suitable IT governance framework to manage its IT investments.

Method: A content analysis of extant literature was done in this paper. The Technology–Organisation–Environment theory forms the theoretical basis of the proposed key pillars for an SME to evaluate its capability to embark on an IT governance initiative in order to obtain the desired results.

Results: From the content analysis of relevant literature, the paper proposed three key pillars which should be in place before an SME adapts any IT governance framework to manage its IT investments. The key pillars are considered an important link between strategic IT governance plans and measurable successful outcomes.

Conclusion: It was concluded that an SME would be better positioned for successful IT governance if it were to conduct a careful analysis of the components of these key pillars before embarking on the implementation of any IT governance framework.

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Author affiliations

Olaitan Olutoyin, Department of Information Systems, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Stephen Flowerday, Department of Information Systems, University of Fort Hare, South Africa, South Africa


IT Governance; SMEs; Technology-Organisation-Environment theory


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ISSN: 2078-1865 (print) | ISSN: 1560-683X (online)

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