The necessity of effective IT governance | ALC Training News

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Organisations can often run into trouble when it comes to effective IT management, especially when IT needs to be used for reaching business goals.

IT governance, a smaller subset of corporate governance, is focused on information technology and the underlying performance and risk management of IT. With strong IT governance measures in place, a business is able to use IT to achieve key goals effectively.

This article will explore the necessity of IT governance, how it can be used in a business environment and several of the steps necessary to put stronger practices in place.

It should certainly become a focus for businesses in the near future, given the growing role of IT systems and processes among organisations.

An understanding of IT governance

Businesses, both small and large, are becoming increasingly dependant on IT for nearly every area of operations. Whether for enhancing communication among workers, increasing collaboration or reducing costs across the board, IT is now key to the long-term plans of many companies.

IT has quickly moved from a secondary consideration to one that's firmly at the forefront of many decisions, and as such governance of IT is now part of broader corporate governance.

As governance essentially revolves around who makes decisions within the corporate structure, and as such who is responsible, it's important that IT be clearly understood. IT needs to be transparent for those within the company, with policies that are understood and easy to access.

With clear and effective governance over time, businesses are able to build an IT focus that supports wider company goals, and is able to adapt to any necessary changes.

In addition to this, IT will be able to stick to a defined budget structure and establish the best IT practices for those within the company across the board.

As IT is now a leading consideration for businesses, it's essential that management practices are clearly defined and implemented throughout the structure. Because IT can be a difficult area for businesses to understand, the policies need to be clear and transparent.

Steps to ensure effective governance

Once the importance of effective IT governance is understood, it's time to turn to the best practices for actually implementing governance strategies.

There are several key areas that need to be focused on, outlined below.

1. Responsibility – It's vital that the governance structure within the organisation focus on IT project results, as opposed to implementation and project management endeavours.

2. Transparency – Because IT can be a foreign area for many within the company, transparency of structure and process is essential. It's important to place a focus on who has decision making rights, and communicate this to those within the wider company.

3. Accountability – Building off the above two points, accountability involves ensuring that any committees or leaders assigned to IT governance are accountable for any objectives they've been assigned. In the case of any issues as a result of mismanagement or failure to perform, there needs to be clear escalation methods in place.

Training

It's important to never underestimate the value of IT governance training, as it's able to effectively communicate and teach many of the practices outline above. If an understanding of governance is stressed through effective training, it's likely that IT will become a far easier endeavour for companies.

Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) is framework that's able to effectively teach an understanding for IT governance, as well as information technology management.

By undertaking COBIT 5 training courses from a leading provider such as ALC Training, businesses can build an end-to-end view of IT governance, one that's able to reflect the central role technology plays within the business.

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