In the rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations navigate a myriad of challenges and opportunities, often shaped by prevailing governance trends. The next decade will usher in transformative change, redefining the way businesses and organizations operate.

These ten trends in governance represent fundamental shifts organizations must embrace to thrive in an ever-changing environment. From the integration of advanced technologies to the emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices, these trends underscore the imperative for organizations to adapt and innovate. Embracing these trends is not just about staying relevant; it’s a strategic imperative holding the key to resilience, competitiveness and long-term success.

As businesses grapple with unprecedented challenges, understanding and incorporating these trends will be crucial to fostering robust governance that aligns to values of transparency, accountability and agility, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future.

1. Politics, ethics and messaging in the boardroom

The evolving political landscape and ethical dilemmas are increasingly influencing boardroom decisions, especially in the realm of IT. Business needs a robust ethical framework for decision-making.

Navigating these issues requires a balanced and thoughtful approach, integrating ethical considerations into decision-making, fostering transparent communication, and acknowledging the broader societal impact of boardroom actions.

2. Drawing new lines around accountability and governance

Recent news highlights the need for clearer accountability and governance structures within organizations. Boards must redefine their roles, particularly in overseeing partnerships, key policies and financial decisions.

Addressing these issues requires a holistic and proactive approach to governance. Organizations need to continuously reassess their governance structures, adapt to changing landscapes and embrace ethical principles to foster a culture of accountability and responsible business conduct.

3. AI and technology governance

Getting in front of Gen AI, and other frontier technologies requires proactive governance to manage potential risks while capitalizing on modernization opportunities.

Navigating these challenges requires a comprehensive governance framework incorporating ethical considerations, regulatory compliance and a commitment to transparency. Organizations must continuously assess and adapt their governance practices to keep pace with the rapid evolution of AI and technology.

4. Growing demand for transparency

Shareholders and regulators seek greater insight into board oversight, leading to an expectation of increased transparency. Customers and employees are entitled to understand the organization’s principles.

Meeting the demand for transparency involves a cultural shift toward openness, accountability and responsiveness. Organizations need to continually evaluate and update their transparency practices to align with evolving expectations and legal requirements.

5. ESG reporting emphasis and complications

ESG reporting is a critical aspect of governance. The challenge lies in navigating various reporting frameworks and standards. Sorting through competing frameworks puts goals further away, exacerbating tech debt.

Organizations need to approach ESG reporting with a strategic mindset acknowledging both the emphasis on crucial factors and the potential complications associated with data, regulation and interpretation. As ESG reporting continues to evolve, staying informed about emerging practices and industry standards is essential for effective and meaningful reporting.

6. Human centricity in governance

In an era increasingly dominated by technology and AI, there is a pressing need to focus on human-centric governance principles. This approach harmonizes tech advances with human values.

Addressing these issues requires a holistic and strategic commitment to human-centric governance, recognizing the interdependence of organizational success and the well-being of individuals and communities. It involves cultivating a culture that values empathy, ethical decision-making and the continuous pursuit of human welfare.

7. Adapting, advocating and adjudicating technology policy

The challenge in technology policy governance lies in balancing the interests of different stakeholders. Can policy favor the bold? Will concentrations of power prevent new players? How should we interpret property rights?

Navigating these issues requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving policymakers, technologists, legal experts and other stakeholders to collaboratively shape policies that foster innovation, protect rights and address societal concerns. It also involves staying vigilant and adaptive in the face of unforeseen challenges and technological advancements.

8. Being clear in an absence of clarity

Many of the decisions we now face have limited analogues in the past. Corporate leaders must be clear about their uncertainties to prevent overreach. Is honesty the best policy? Clarity is essential to maintain trust.

Organizations and leaders must prioritize clear communication, set transparent expectations, and regularly assess and communicate goals and strategies. Creating a culture of openness, where individuals feel comfortable seeking clarification, can help to mitigate the impact of an absence of clarity. Regular feedback mechanisms and opportunities for dialogue can also contribute to improving overall clarity within an organization.

9. Managing technology-driven risk and compliance

The evolving nature of technology-driven risks necessitates a re-evaluation of existing IT governance frameworks. These frameworks must integrate risk, safety, and security more comprehensively. How do we fix the broken parts?

Successfully managing technology-driven risk and compliance requires a holistic approach that combines technological solutions, employee education and a proactive compliance strategy. Organizations need to stay informed about the evolving threat landscape and regulatory environment to adapt their risk management and compliance practices accordingly. Regular risk assessments, audits and continuous improvement initiatives are integral components of effective risk and compliance management.

10. Aligning IT with business goals

IT governance is a key element of tech debt, bridging business objectives and IT strategies, establishing policies and controls for better decision-making and risk management. How do we bake in effective tandem considerations?

By addressing these key issues, organizations can establish robust IT governance frameworks fostering alignment with business goals. Alignment embraces organizational agility, supports innovation and ensures IT initiatives contribute directly to the success of broader business strategy.


About the author

Dr. Alex Kokkonen is a senior researcher and advisor for DXC Technology, working with customers to solve their most pressing business issues via research-led advisory interventions. With over 25 years of experience, Alex brings extensive international and multi-industry experience from working in a variety of multidisciplinary leadership positions and diverse cultural settings for major blue-chip companies. She has driven IT and business research concepts into business transformations and holds two doctorates, one in IT and one in business. Prior to joining DXC, Alex held a variety of leadership roles, most recently in KPMG’s CIO Advisory and Technology Enablement practice. Connect with Alex on LinkedIn and Twitter.