The Importance of IT Governance
Understand the Basics of IT Governance
Information Technology (IT) Governance is a critical process when it comes to managing, controlling, and optimizing technology operations within an organization. It is vitally important for IT professionals to understand how to apply IT governance in order to improve the total cost of ownership and increase the value of IT investments.
What is IT Governance?
IT governance is a practice that provides insight into how technology is used within an organization. It helps ensure that IT infrastructure, processes and projects align with the key objectives of the business. IT governance allows organizations to ensure maximum returns are gained from their investments in IT, while employing management control and oversight to provide structure and accountability in the use of IT.
What Does Good IT Governance Look Like?
Good IT governance provides a set of principles, processes and practices that allows an organization to realize its desired outcomes. The key features of effective IT governance are:
- Flexibility: IT governance should enable an organization to adjust and flex to changing business conditions and trends quickly and efficiently.
- Accountability: IT governance should ensure that IT decisions are made for the benefit of the organization, and that accountability for those decisions can be ascertained.
- Cost Effectiveness: IT governance should also ensure that IT investments are made cost-effectively, whilst still delivering the desired results.
- Compliance: IT governance should ensure that the organization is compliant with industry regulations, government policies and legal requirements at all times.
Why is IT Governance Important?
IT governance is important for organizations of all sizes, as it assists businesses in ensuring that IT activities, processes and investments are in line with the organization’s goals and objectives. It helps companies understand and control their risks, as well as maximize returns on IT investments.
IT governance is also important because it often gets far better results when there are clear and well written objectives associated with IT operations. By understanding exactly what needs to be done, IT professionals can work more efficiently, while taking into account strategic ambitions and goals – and making sure that they stay in line with external regulations.
Furthermore, IT governance can help mitigate cost overruns, as well as pave the way for innovative solutions that can’t easily be conjured up in the absence of proper objectives or standards. It also helps organizations allocate resources more effectively, as clear objectives and standards exist and personnel know exactly what they’re working towards.
How Can Organizations Implement IT Governance?
Implementing IT governance can seem overwhelming, but there are a few steps that organizations can take to ensure that IT governance is efficiently and effectively put into place.
- Appoint a senior IT governance board or team that is responsible for setting objectives and policies and enforcing them. The board or team should include members from all parts of the organization, not just IT.
- Define a clear set of IT objectives and policies. These should include, but not be limited to, IT security, business continuity, resource allocation, and data usage.
- Develop a plan that outlines how the organization intends to meet its objectives and policies, and which will act as a guide to improving IT governance.
- Employ specific processes and technologies that will help the organization monitor and manage IT operations.
- Track the performance of IT governance activities and adjust course if necessary.
The importance of IT governance for organizations of all sizes cannot be understated. It helps businesses ensure that their IT activities and investments are aligned with their overall objectives, enabling them to gain maximum returns on their investments. It also helps ensure that IT operations are in line with external regulations.
Although implementing IT governance can be daunting, organizations should follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure it is efficiently and effectively put in place. With proper IT governance in place, organizations can benefit from improved return on investment, cost control, and compliance adherence.