Why IT Governance?
ICT Governance is a buzz word and sometimes used as a "stick" to penalise an organisation, or is just seen by Management as an extra ICT related cost for something that might not provide the benefits related to the cost of implementing it.
It's not enough to just have technology. Organisations must also ensure that those technology deliver strategic value. To do this, there needs to be mechanisms in place to regulate, monitor and govern the vlaue creation of the IT investment.
So why are we passionate about ICT Governance? Why should an organisation spend money on ICT Governance. Is it not just policies and procedures for ICT which are in place, or could be developed internally.
Let's start by defining ICT Governance. ICT Governance, according to the IT Governance Institute, is...
"IT governance is the responsibility of executives and the board of directors, and consists of leadership, organizational structures, and processes that ensure that the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives.”
This definition is a mouthful. Due to the rising cost of IT investment, Management is constantly aware of IT spending and whether it is justified. THis is where IT Governance comes into play. In short, IT GOvernance ensures that IT and all of its expenditure is aligned to business strategy. No more spending for the sake of technical "jargon" by IT professionals for things management are not sure about. IT Governance assists management to make informed decisions on their IT investment. It assissts management to ensure that the IT investment is aligned to achiee the organisation's strategic goals.
IT Governance ensure that IT achieves the desired outcomes and behaviour in relation to the investment. This is done by ensuring IT focusses on costs and manage the IT investment, projects and resources to achieve the strategy alignment. It also provides a framework for objective decision making on IT investment and performance, manages the organisational risks and provides clear lines of accountabilty and responsibilites.
Its main objectives are:
- Aligning business strategy with IT investment
- Ensuring that the IT unit are effectively resourced to execute the business strategy
- Implementing effective risk management
- Monitoring IT performance (an IT Business Scorecard has been developed to monitor IT investment in relation to business benefits).
IT Governance therefore, establishes a decision framework and set of processes that allow management to ensure that IT is aligned to business strategy and the IT investment delivers the expected outcomes.