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Whitepaper - Practical Information Technology Governance

Whitepaper - Practical Information Technology Governance

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Published by Alan McSweeney

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Published by: Alan McSweeney on Nov 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/03/2011

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PracticalInformationTechnologyGovernance
Creating an Environment for Business DrivenEffective IT Management, Decision Makingand Operations
Alan McSweeney
 
Practical Information Technology GovernancePage 2
Contents
IT Governance as a Means to an End...............................................................3
 
Benefits of IT Governance................................................................................3
 
IT Governance Drivers and Principles..............................................................5
 
IT Governance and Best Practice Standards.....................................................6
 
IT Governance Architecture Framework..........................................................6
 
Implementing Effective IT Governance............................................................7
 
IT Governance with COBIT.............................................................................8
 
COBIT Domain and Process Structure.........................................................8
 
COBIT Information Measurement Criteria...................................................9
 
COBIT Process Goals and Metrics.................................................................9
 
Implementing IT Governance........................................................................11
 
Lessons Learned From Implementing IT Governance.....................................11
 
63% of organisations feel that IT is very important to the delivery of the overallorganisation strategy. Yet only 33% of general management within organisations see thealignment between business and IT as being very good. The need to bridge thisdisconnect between business and IT is one of the fundamental reasons for IT Governance.IT Governance creates a framework where IT management can be performed effectivelyand IT-related decision making focuses on the effective and efficient running of IToperations and services. Underlying the idea of IT Governance is the concept of IT andbusiness alignment.Implementing IT Governance is good for both the organisation and for IT. It ensuresthat IT delivers value and that the value of IT is understood. Appropriate IT Governancecan yield real business benefits. IT Governance imposes a standard that ensures IT isaligned to business strategy and objectives.COBIT provides a ready-made flexible IT Governance framework that can subsumeother more detailed and specific best-practice frameworks. Implementing IT Governanceis similar to any other IT or business project and should be approached and managed inthe same way.Some “quick wins” from IT Governance can be achieved by implementing the following:
 
Ensure that IT project priorities are based on business priorities
 
Audit existing IT processes and modify to ensure they are effective
 
Ensure that IT projects are lead by the business and strongly supported by IT
 
Developing an IT scorecard designed for a business audience that includes details onhow IT creates and delivers business value
 
Implementing a standard process for or determining the business value (bothfinancial and non-financial) and risk of IT-enabled business investments
 
Create an IT Strategy Committee with business involvement
 
 
Practical Information Technology GovernancePage 3
IT Governance as a Means to an End
IT Governance creates a framework where IT management can be performedeffectively and IT-related decision making focuses on the effective and efficientrunning of IT operations and services.IT Governance can be seen as one more non-value adding overhead that is partof the ever increasing compliance overhead imposed on organisations. There canbe a real reluctance to considering IT Governance programmes because of “compliance fatigue” associated with the many compliance requirements thathave arisen in the past years. However the adoption of appropriate and relevantIT Governance will yield real business benefits. Appropriate is the key wordhere: there are no prizes for excessive controls.Information Technology is investment-intensive. Change is both common andfrequent. The speed with which an organisation
correctly
adopts innovationand deployment is critical in developing and maintaining competitiveadvantage.The core function of IT is to serve the business. Alignment of IT withorganisational goals and objectives and the management of IT to serve andsupport the business in its pursuit of success all require clear governance.Conversely, this also needs a business that is engaged with IT.In making a decision to implement an IT Governance framework, it isimportant to be practical and realistic. Appropriate governance is what isrequired and governance for a reason rather than for its own sake.
Benefits of IT Governance
Underlying the idea of IT Governance is the concept of IT and businessalignment. The linkage of IT with business objectives remains a key issue forIT management. The implementation of IT Governance is designed to deliverreal benefits:
 
Better IT to business alignment built on a business focus
 
Improved maintenance and operations planning
 
Establishment of data and information standards
 
Management view of what IT does and increased visibility of IT spending
 
Clear ownership and responsibilities, based on process orientation
 
General acceptability with third parties and regulators
 
Shared understanding amongst all stakeholders based on a commonlanguage
 
Fulfilment of the governance requirements for the IT control environment
 
A comprehensive IT Governance model for managing all IT resourcesIT Governance fits into an increasingly crowded landscape of corporategovernance, regulation and compliance rules and standards.
How would you rate your organisation’s maturity level onIT Governance? Source: IT Governance GlobalStatus Report—2008How would you describe the fitor alignment between your corporate governance practicesand IT Governance practices? Source: IT Governance GlobalStatus Report—2008

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