UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government White Paper Recommends Public Managers Develop IT Governance Capabilities to Improve Interoperability

Oct. 20, 2009
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany – SUNY has released a white paper entitled, IT Governance Capability: Laying the foundation for government interoperability. This paper is the third in a series of CTG reports focused on helping governments worldwide develop the capabilities necessary for improving interoperability. CTG’s research has found that engaging in coordinated action across the boundaries of organizations to create interoperability requires new models of decision making, knowledge sharing, and resource allocation; in essence, new governance capability. 

While some governments around the world are turning to formalized IT governance models, many developed with the private sector in mind, CTG’s work shows that those governments with the most effective IT governance frameworks used a different strategy. CTG found that these successful frameworks were created first by a focus on a consistent set of five components of governance; scope, authority, organizational structure, membership, and process, and second, through close attention to context. 

“Context matters,” said Theresa Pardo co-author of the paper and CTG director. “IT governance can be viewed as a sorting process used to respond to an ongoing stream of demands and opportunities for IT development and use. Governance structures should be designed to respond to these demands and opportunities within a framework that reflects each government’s own unique political, financial, and institutional environments. 

CTG addresses one of the key challenges governments face in improving interoperability; the need to identify and address existing bureaucratic, political, and hierarchical structures and policies that make cross-boundary decision making about priorities, resources, and systems difficult. Having governance capabilities across the boundaries of organizations is necessary to ensure government interoperability investments align with priorities defined in strategic plans or by legislative and executive leadership.

The white paper, along with the other two in the series, were written with support from Microsoft Corporation, and can be downloaded at:

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. 

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit