The question of IT governance has been gaining momentum within companies since 2009. This is mainly due to the fact that the economic world is nowadays dominated by information and innovation. This IT governance is essential for the operation of all companies. What is it about ? And how can you implement it in your business?
What is IT governance?
IT governance is a concept from the 1990s that brings together several information technologies. It is a formal framework that develops these so that they are in line with the strategy and objectives of a company. It is set up for the most part by the information services department (DSI). The skills of other collaborators are also necessary. Among the information technologies included in IT governance, we have:
- IT management,
- IT compliance,
- IT activities,
- risk management.
All these information systems each have their respective role and all aim to achieve the company’s objectives and strategy . IT management makes it possible to plan, organize and manage the use of the various resources of the company. IT compliance, on the other hand, aims to protect sensitive personal and corporate data.
IT activities, on the other hand, are all the tasks that your company’s IT department performs to achieve the objectives set. Regarding risk management, it is the set of rules and activities to be carried out to ensure the security of your company’s computer system.
The importance of effective IT governance
The establishment of effective IT governance is of paramount importance with regard to the smooth running of IT companies. This concept helps you, through the information systems, to achieve the business objectives of the organization. If you fail to implement IT governance, it will no longer be effective and could harm the business.
This can lead, for example, to a failure in the identification of data, security problems, etc. Ineffective IT governance can also be the cause of an allocation of resources that is not in line with the business objectives of the company. It will then be difficult to achieve these, which negatively impacts the creation of value. On the other hand, when the implementation process is successful, IT governance offers the possibility of solving these various issues and has many advantages.
Steps to implement successful IT governance
Implementing successful IT governance involves several steps. These must be followed rigorously to ensure that the process results in the creation of value for your business. The first step is preparation. This step consists in involving in IT governance all the parties concerned by the smooth running of the company. These are senior IT managers, your customers, employees, and partners. You must ensure a good distribution of tasks and responsibilities that will go to each party. This makes it possible to find the IT strategy that ensures the creation of value by the company. You also need to define priorities and identify which collaborators to assign the management of IT resources.
You must then establish an effective action plan. For this, the latter must take into account specific IT issues and projects. IT governance objectives must also align with business expectations for value creation. You must then not lose sight of your strategic objectives when setting up your IT governance. And for that, you need to plan a long-term roadmap to achieve them all.
The communication of the IT governance plan completes the implementation. It is of paramount importance. All stakeholders should be informed of the IT governance plan to facilitate its implementation.
IT governance best practices
There are many practices when it comes to IT governance. The best of these can be grouped into five core practices. You can first establish an effective strategy. This involves information system planning linked to your business planning process. You must also align this system with the activities of the latter.
You can then have relevant management tools. This helps you manage and measure the performance of your information system. These tools are also used to communicate on the latter and to manage relationships.
Another practice is to demonstrate the value and contribution of your actions. This amounts to managing information system projects which contribute to the creation of value and their portfolio.
With regard to the fourth practice, you must be aware of the risks associated with implementing IT governance . This requires good management of them. Finally, good asset management is another good governance practice.
Strategic alignment of IT governance with business objectives
This is a simple step, but very important for efficiency. This alignment is about putting strategic processes in place that give you the ability to achieve your company’s business goals. Henderson and Venkatraman established a principle for strategic alignment. According to them, there are four different models:
- the execution of the strategy,
- the development of a technological potential,
- the development of a competitive advantage based on technology,
- improving the quality of service within the company.
The operations or activities that will be carried out by the employees, especially the IT departments of the DSI (Information Systems Department), contribute to the achievement of the company’s ambitions.
Tools and technologies to support IT governance
You have a wide choice of IT tools and technologies or frameworks to support IT governance. Among the most popular, we find in particular the COBIT repository, the COSO, or the CIS.
The COBIT repository
The COBIT repository (Control OBjectives for Information and related Technology) is a tool that should initially be used for IT auditing. However, it has been developed and is also effective for IT governance. This tool is more focused on the management of risks related to information systems.
The most comprehensive governance support technology available, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library ) takes into account information technology management and IT governance. It thus ensures that all IT services comply with the company’s managerial practices.
Mainly used to secure information, ISO provides a security system that meets international standards. It promotes the organization’s optimization of cybersecurity controls and the establishment of comprehensive systems to help manage information security.
The CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) gives you the opportunity to improve your company’s IT performance. It rates these on a digital scale from 1 to 5.
Regarding the CoSO, it is not a tool specifically designed for IT governance. You can use it to manage the risks incurred, deter fraud within your organization… Another technology that helps reduce business risk is CIS. The latter makes it possible to strengthen the resilience of your organization’s technological infrastructure .
Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of IT governance
You need to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your company’s IT governance. This helps you to know the flaws and shortcomings of your project in order to improve it. Measurement and evaluation are carried out by a specialized organization.
If the governance of your company’s information systems is recognized, you benefit from a certain credibility. This gives you the opportunity to attract more customers and partners. Your company may also be recommended by the organization in question. This assessment is based on the information found on your dashboards and which concerns:
- the performance of your information systems,
- the management or management of IT resources,
- risk management,
- the alignment of the IT governance strategy with those of the company…
You can work on these fundamental points of your IT governance, if there are shortcomings, with the aim of improving it.
Conclusion: the benefits of well-established IT governance
With this constant evolution of society and different markets, the importance of IT governance is no longer to be proven. All businesses need it. Well-established IT governance is essential for their proper functioning in these times when information takes an important place in our society. It guarantees you a good return on your company’s IT investments by creating value.
It also promotes the improvement of your organization’s business processes with the digitization and automation of the various trades. This leads to a reduction of the latter and at the same time the optimization of the operating costs of your company. Well-established IT governance also helps mitigate the risks associated with this use of IT. It also increases performance and competitiveness within the company to achieve more positive results.
You can therefore set up a well-established IT governance for your organization. At Lemon Learning, we offer training offers to improve the skills of your employees. This gives you the opportunity to ensure the effectiveness of your IT governance.