Information technology is prevalent in nearly every industry and organization across the globe. It’s a diverse and challenging discipline with a lot of moving parts and critical scenarios. On top of it all, information technology is constantly evolving. IT governance ensures that IT departments are prepared for what’s next, without losing focus on what matters.
But if you break it down further, IT governance is an amalgamation of a lot of things. Having evolved from many other methods, IT governance has taken pieces of its methodology from:
- “The Principles of Scientific Management” — a method of corporate organization focused on scientific output during the industrial era.
- “Total Quality Management” — a method focused on creating a work environment where employees strive to constantly improve.
- “Quality Management System” — a method that acts as a collection of organizational processes focused on increasing customer satisfaction.
The most common IT governance models are:
- COBIT: This is by far the most popular framework out there. It gives staff a reference of 37 IT processes, with each process defined with process inputs and outputs, objectives, methods to measure performance and more.
- AS8015-2005: A technical standard developed in Australia and published in 2005, this framework is a 12-page framework that includes six principles for effective IT governance.
- ISO/IEC 38500:2015: This framework aims to assist those at the top of the organization to better grasp their legal and ethical obligations when it comes to their company’s use of IT.
- ITIL: Stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, this framework includes five management best practices from strategy to design that aims to ensure that IT supports core business operations.
- COSO: From the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, this framework focuses on more general and less IT-focused processes, with an emphasis on enterprise risk management and fraud deterrence.
- CMMI: Also known as the Capability Maturity Model Integration framework, this process uses a scale of 1 to 5 to better understand how the organization is performing and maturing over time.
- FAIR: Also known as the Factor Analysis of Information Risk, this framework has an emphasis on cyber security and risk assessment, with an ultimate goal of making better informed decisions.
And that’s not the full list of frameworks out there; there are many more IT governance frameworks that offer both a full and partial view of IT governance processes that can be useful when it comes to the application of a solid and effective IT governance process.
What are the Benefits of IT Governance?
IT managers and system administrators know technology like the back of their hand. They work with it day in, and day out and keep up with the latest trends at all times. So, to the administrator, it might seem like adding in an IT governance process is an extra step added to their busy days. However, there are many benefits to IT governance, including:
- Getting buy-in from stakeholders, partners and customers is never easy, but showing that you have taken the extra step to implement an IT governance plan gives them added assurance that you mean business.
- Controlling your risks doesn’t come automatically. It has to be studied in a working environment where a standard, replicable process has been implemented. IT governance helps track risks in a controlled experiment environment.
- Ensure your company is meeting rules and regulations around compliance, so you can reduce risk and eliminate liability.
- Better align your IT department with the company’s overall business objectives, so they can prioritize their projects better.
- Better measure performance for your IT department and optimize their processes, so they don’t have to waste time on clunky processes that had previously been in place.