Governance relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists either of a separate process or of a specific part of management or leadership processes. In the case of a business or of a non-profit organization, governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility. For example, managing at a corporate level might involve evolving policies on privacy, on internal investment, and on the use of data.

There are 3 main areas of governance:

* Enterprise governance – Describes a framework that covers both corporate governance and the business management aspects of the organization. This achieves good corporate governance that is linked strategically with performance metrics, and enables companies to focus all their energy on the key drivers that move their business forward.

* Corporate governance – Concerned with promoting corporate fairness, transparency and accountability. One example is the SOX act (2002) in the United States; created in the aftermath of fraudulent behavior by corporate giants and states accountability provisions such as criminal charges and incarceration for non-compliance.

* IT governance – Responsibility of the board of directors and executive management. An integral part of enterprise governance and consists of the leadership, organizational structures and processes that ensure the organization’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives.

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