Implementation and Enforcement of Corporate IT Standards


Due to growing complexity and raising costs of the corporate IT, standards are essential for companies in order to manage and maintain control of their information technology. Additionally, standards become more and more important due to interoperability problems caused by new IT trends such as cloud computing and other emergent technologies. In the context of this research project, IT standards are defined in an abstract way, which means that an IT standard might refer to a particular hardware component, software application, or even to IT processes.

The practice shows, that the crucial aspects considering the success of IT standards is less the definition of a particular standard but more the implementation and enforcement in order to ensure the usage and therefore the targeted benefits. A preliminary literature search shows also that in the field of IS research, there is much published about defining a particular IT standard but there is a lack of research about implementing a standard successfully.

Therefore this research project aims to understand the problems and the influential factors of the implementation and enforcement of IT standards. Based on this deeper understanding, processes, methods, and management tools will be designed in order to master the implementation of standards in an IT organisation.

Research Questions

This leads us to some fundamental questions regarding the IT standardisation, which we attempt to answer by conducting this research:

  1. What is the current status of research about the implementation and enforcement of IT standards?
  2. What are the problems and influential factors when implementing IT standards and how are they related?
  3. What are methods and management tools in order to overcome those problems and successfully implement a standard in the IT organisation?

Research Approach

First, we conduct a literature review in order to analyse the current status of research in the field of IT standardisation; second, a model development on basis of reference theories will be conducted; third, a validation of the model will be carried out; and last, methods and management tools will be designed based on a Design Science approach.

Result Type

  1. Research gaps and a research agenda
  2. Validated model for explaining the influential factors when implementing IT standards
  3. Design Artefacts for managing and implementing IT standards


Practical Contribution

Our research has considerable implications for practitioners:

  1. The project aims to understand the problems companies face during the implementation of IT standards
  2. Methods and management tools are developed in order to cope with these problems and implement IT standards successfully


The project is funded by the Institute of Research on Information Systems (IRIS) of the EBS Business School and Volkswagen AG.


Volkswagen AG, University of Duisburg-Essen


2013 - 2014