Topping their list of reasons are concerns about privacy (50%), security (47%) and legacy infrastructure (35%), according to the latest global status report on the governance of enterprise IT (GEIT), conducted by the IT Governance Institute (ITGI), the research affiliate of IT governance, control and security association Isaca.
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But the survey, which polled over 800 C-level - the highest level in an organisation - executives from 21 countries, also found that of those planning to use cloud computing, 40% was mission-critical, and 93% of organisations are outsourcing some or all their IT activities.
The survey found outsourcing is highly prevalent across the board, but especially in larger enterprises and those where IT is considered important or very important to the delivery of the business strategy or vision.
Ken Van der Wal, international vice-president at Isaca, said emerging technologies such as cloud computing and outsourcing can be managed effectively by integrating good governance over IT.
"Organisations need to adopt new service delivery models to stay competitive, and this is fuelling a strong commitment to enterprise IT governance across the C-suite," he said.
According to Van der Wal, assessing the value of current investments, building consensus among stakeholders and mitigating risk with third-party providers all require a comprehensive governance framework for organisations.
Of the C-level executives surveyed, 95% consider governance of enterprise IT important.
This reveals an almost universally shared perception of IT as a critical contributor to overall business strategy, no matter where the organisation is on the path of GEIT maturity, Isaca said.
"The overwhelming consensus about the importance of IT governance is encouraging. As 2011 IT initiatives get underway against an economic backdrop that continues to be volatile, the ability to balance and manage value creation, risk management and optimization of resources will be critical," said Roger Southgate, past president Isaca, London and independent governance and risk consultant.