Most companies are weak in their implementation of corporate governance processes, suggesting directors at the board level are not adequately involved, according to a global study out of Belgium.

ISACA, an association of information technology professionals, commissioned the survey of 894 business and IT professionals to benchmark performance around various IT governance objectives. The results suggests companies are strongest in their governance and management of services, infrastructure, and applications, but weakest in governing and managing culture, ethics, and behavior. The authors of the study say that might be so because infrastructure and applications are more tangible.

“The findings are a call to action for board members to take responsibility for ensuring that their organization’s information and technology are effectively governed and managed,” said Steven De Haes, an author of the survey report. “There is a clear association between board involvement and strong organizational performance.”

The survey searched for performance against ISACA’s COBIT 5 framework for information technology governance. COBIT 5 identifies seven key resources, called “enablers,” because they enable effective governance in an organization. According to the survey report, many processes that require more business area involvement (as in non-IT functions) achieved lower implementation scores. Likewise, many processes that require more business management involvement, such as managing organizational changes and business process controls, also achieved lower implementation scores.

“This is a call for action, as the importance of business involvement in IT-enabled value creation has been stressed by many researchers,” the report says. “More business involvement in the governance and management of enterprise information technology is required.”

The study also exposed a weakness in corporate agility, according to the report. Companies reported their IT-goals related to external and internal compliance are the most completely achieved, while goals related to IT agility remained most elusive. “There is a knowing-doing gap when it comes to agility,” said Wim Van Grembergen, co-author of the report. “Executives consistently include agility on their list of priorities, but the data indicate there is little success in achieving it.”