Don't Gamble with IT Governance

Ann All

Too many companies gamble with their governance by treating it like Las Vegas -- what happens in IT stays in IT. And just like the folks at the roulette wheel, they end up losers.

 

IT governance initiatives that exist solely within the IT department and do not take broader business objectives into account are a major cause of failure of IT-enabled business projects, says the Butler Group.

 

Different styles of governance are required for three distinct categories of IT spend -- Run the Organization, Change the Organization and Innovate. While business involvement is especially important in the latter two categories, it should be a part of governance even in Run the Organization mode, says a Butler Group analyst.

"Whether an organisation views IT as a strategic capability involving significant investment, or purely as a support service to be delivered at minimal cost, the reality is that all are dependent on information systems as an integral part of many business processes. Effective IT governance is therefore essential to ensure that the delivery of IT services meets the requirements of the business."

To bring business and IT together to promote better governance, the authors of a recent Intelligent Enterprise article recommend appointing three groups: a business/IT council, an advisory committee and a group that includes business-process managers and different departments within IT.

 

The three groups are then tasked with three "action steps": obtaining buy-in from stakeholders; adopting the new framework; and finally, keeping the effort on track.

 


A number of other experts recommend taking IT governance all the way to the top, to the board of directors level.



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