IT Governance Delivers Tech Strategy Aligned With Business Goals
Learn what corporate IT governance is. how it relates to your broader business strategy, along with the most-used models and strategies for operational success.
Businesses today need a vision that addresses short- and long-term opportunities for growth. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the importance of corporate IT governance as part of the strategic planning process.
What Is IT Governance?
IT governance is a structural process that aligns technology strategy with business strategy. It’s the framework that makes sure that IT investments are planned and budgeted to support critical business needs. When done correctly, IT governance ensures that IT is used efficiently and effectively to help businesses achieve their goals.
It’s important to note that IT governance is not a department, a committee or a point in time. It’s not about risk management or system performance. Instead, it’s about IT decisions that have a clear impact on business value.
Small- and medium-sized businesses, enterprise companies, nonprofit organizations and government entities alike use IT governance to improve strategy and outcomes.
Why Does My Organization Need IT Governance?
There are many reasons why adopting an IT governance process makes sound business sense, including:
- Compliance. Increasingly, companies need to meet strict regulatory mandates to bid on government business or comply with mandates from states, provinces and regions about data security, financial accountability and disaster recovery. IT governance helps connect those requirements to ongoing business priorities
- Stakeholder/Shareholders. Your company has stakeholders and/or shareholders deeply invested in business outcomes. Having an IT governance process helps align strategy that drives success
- Innovation. Staying competitive means investing in technical solutions that keep the competition at bay. The right IT investments help deliver better products, services and customer experiences
- Risk Reduction. Hackers increasingly target businesses with cyberattacks aimed at stealing assets or holding systems hostage. Having advanced cybersecurity as part of your IT governance strategy reduces operational risk
What Structure Should IT Governance Take?
There are several frameworks that have been established by IT industry experts and used by thousands of businesses and organizations. Among the most commonly used frameworks are:
- COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies). Designed by ISACA (the Information Systems Audit and Control Association), COBIT includes analytic tools, models and practices, and is often used by organizations focused on risk management and mitigation
- ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). This set of five IT management processes — continual service improvement, design, operation, service strategy and transition
- COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations). Dating to 1985, this structure focuses on enterprise risk management and fraud prevention
- CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration). This model helps organizations streamline process improvement in order to create a productive culture that reduces risk in the development of software, products and services
- FAIR (Factor Analysis of Information Risk). A relatively new framework, FAIR focuses on cybersecurity and operational risk and has gained considerable traction among Fortune 500 companies
How Can We Achieve IT Governance Success?
Here are seven tactics to achieving IT governance success.
- Executive Sponsorship. C-level leadership needs to be invested and the work must be mandatory, not optional
- Team Development. IT and business team members need to be aligned and collaborative in the work
- Problem Recognition. Understand where you are and what goals you are trying to achieve before beginning the work
- Future -Looking. Set attainable but ambitious goals, with clearly defined requirements
- Smart Decisions. Be sure to select solutions (software, systems, hardware) that achieve the desired solution and are compatible with the chosen frameworks
- Small Steps. Start small, possibly with a pilot program that demonstrates success and impact
- Post-Implementation Planning. New products and solutions are exciting, shiny new toys. Be sure to think beyond the implementation about ongoing impact, training and measures
Innovation starts with a careful strategy. At Philantech3, we help clients develop thoughtful strategies and innovative solutions that boost business outcomes. To learn more, contact us today for an initial consultation.
I am an IT professional with a broad depth of knowledge and experience as an IT planning consultant, with previous experience as a network engineer. I have 14+ years in the industry providing sustainable technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. I personally thrive on making systems more efficient and I am continually interested in ways to innovate using technology applications. I enjoy working closely with colleagues and clients to collaborate and provide a best fit solution for all IT-related needs. More recently I have assisted my workplace with an implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in the “Integrator” role, where I have assisted with optimizing company operations and improving cross-departmental functional systems.