Good IT Governance Is Becoming A Continuous Improvement Process

This is the conclusion of a recent research project on the future of IT governance. I am writing this summary of facts and findings hoping to get your feedback.

Here is what we did in the project: We started from the recently released COBIT 5 framework to set a baseline for what good IT governance is. We then assessed 15 case studies and selected nine that displayed characteristics of good IT governance. We also interviewed 25 technology management experts, asking them "whether and how IT governance will need to change when organizations adopt smart technologies such as a mobile, social, analytics business process management (BPM), and cloud."

What is the conclusion? The more your organization invests in smart technologies for business innovation, differentiation, and productivity improvements, the more you will need good IT governance for managing these investments. And because developing good IT governance is a learning experience filled with trial and error, the earlier you start applying good IT governance as a continuous improvement process, the faster you will benefit from it and your investments.

But what does this mean in practical terms? We identified five directions for change. They nicely fit with the COBIT principles:

1)      Make technology development an integral part of business strategy.

2)      Focus on cross-functional business alignment.

3)      Engage employees at all levels of the organization.

4)      Maintain an integrated IT governance framework and single ownership.

5)      Develop separate responsibilities for IT governance and IT management.

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