Virtually unheard of a few years ago, IT governance is now one of the industry’s fastest growing fields. As such, it is essential that every IT person in your organization understand what it is, and why it's so important. This is particularly true for your company’s managers and officers, as their decisions related to IT governance could have a huge financial impact on your organization.
What is IT Governance?
IT governance concerns the way in which your IT systems are related to the rest of your company. The major areas of relation are: strategic, operational, regulatory, and performance. Let’s talk about each type of IT governance in turn:
Strategic. It is crucial that your business strategy and your IT strategy are aligned. This might sound obvious, but too often there is a lack of communication between divisions, and it can hinder an organization’s progress. For example, if executive leadership wants to focus on better technology for their sales force, but the IT department is unaware of this initiative, then it’s unlikely much will actually get done.
Operational. Similarly, if the IT department is operating under one set of assumptions, and the rest of the organization is operating under a different set, you may run into trouble. Or if your IT budget is too great or too small, your company can greatly suffer.
Regulatory. In today’s regulatory climate, it is essential that your IT operations meet increasingly tough government standards. Between the Sarbanes-Oxeley Act of 2002 and the Do Not Track laws that are in Congress currently, there is a regulatory minefield out there just waiting to engulf your company. It is vital that your IT operations remain in compliance. IT governance can reduce your company’s risk.
Performance. Companies that go through great pains to track the performance of their sales, CSR, and managerial teams often forget about IT. By implementing a system of accountability, your business can begin to measure and evaluate how your IT department is contributing to your organization’s bottom line. You can then make adjustments as necessary, helping to ensure maximum efficiency and profitability.
How to Implement IT Governance
While it’s possible that your organization could begin to implement IT governance practices independently, doing so often presents a significant challenge. Most organizations have a slew of different projects and initiatives going on at any one time, and adding another to the list can be overwhelming. It’s generally best to outsource IT to help you with governance implementation. Bringing in IT professionals can give you a substantial leg up against the competition. You’ll be getting experienced experts who are dedicated to ensuring that your IT department is in total harmony with the rest of your organization. They’ll give you unbiased and professional advice to ensure you are serving the best interests of all stakeholders.
IT Governance is Smart
Think about what it would be like if your company was to implement IT governance right now. You’d be able to rest easy knowing that your company was in total regulatory compliance. You’d know that your IT department was operating seamlessly within your company. You’d benefit from more concise and effective strategy implementation. Most importantly, you’d be able to measure your IT performance to ensure that your goals and metrics were being met. When you add up all of the benefits, you really can’t afford to ignore IT governance for a moment longer.