Get the Business on Board with IT Governance

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A prominent theme in my recent blog about the growing importance of IT governance is the importance of getting IT and business together on the issue.

Among the specific suggestions, garnered from my interview with an executive of the IT Governance Institute and an article written by a couple of IT governance experts:

  • Enlist senior management to ensure a top-down approach.
  • Utilize a best-practices framework like the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) or Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT).
  • Include folks from both IT and the business on governance teams.

I then encountered this list of 10 tips on implementing IT governance, written by governance expert Alan Calder. He includes a nice, concise definition of governance that may come in handy in getting the business types on board with the idea:

A framework for the leadership, organizational structures and business processes, standards and compliance to these standards, which ensures that the organization's IT supports and enables the achievement of its strategies and objectives.

Several of Calder's other tips seem likely to win the heads (and more importantly, the hearts) of the business. Among them:

  • Ban technological jargon from governance discussions.
  • Introduce professional IT audits, modeled on the more familiar financial audits.
  • Stress that governance's biggest benefit is the enhanced competitiveness that results from integrating IT into the organization's approach to strategic and operational management.