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ISO/IEC 38500

What is ISO/IEC 38500?

ISO/IEC 38500 is an international standard created to guide corporate governance of information technology (IT). The standard provides broad guidelines and a framework of practices for IT oversight within an organization. The purpose of ISO/IEC 38500 is to make IT governance a critical component of corporate governance.

ISO/IEC 38500 is based on an Australian standard, AS 8015, and was issued jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The standard was approved by all ISO members and published in 2008.

According to the ISO website:

"ISO/IEC 38500:2008 provides guiding principles for directors of organizations (including owners, board members, directors, partners, senior executives, or others) on the effective, efficient, and acceptable use of IT within their organizations.

This standard is applicable to all organizations, which include public and private companies, government entities and not-for-profit organizations. The standard is applicable to organizations of all sizes from the smallest to the largest, regardless of the extent of their IT usage."

The standard's six principles for IT governance are:

  1. Establish responsibilities.
  2. Plan to best support the organization.
  3. Acquire validly.
  4. Ensure performance when required.
  5. Ensure comformance with rules.
  6. Ensure respect for human factors.

Learn More About IT:
> The ISO 38500 standard may be purchased and downloaded from the ISO website.

This was last updated in January 2010
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