Man Alive, It’s COBIT 5: How Are You Governing And Managing Enterprise IT?

You think that this blog title is bad? Be thankful that I didn’t try something like: “There’s No Obit For COBIT.”

Anyways, today sees ISACA (an international professional association for IT Governance) release COBIT 5 – the latest version of its internationally recognized “Business Framework for the Governance and Management of Enterprise IT.”

As in previous blogs such as “It’s Time To Realize That ITIL Is Not The Only Fruit,” the industry’s obsession with ITIL needs to be both tempered and supplemented with more pragmatic guidance on IT management and IT service management. COBIT can help with this in spades. In fact, some would argue that ITIL should be used to supplement COBIT – try some of Rob England’s (The IT Skeptic, and a great supporter of COBIT) short COBIT blog posts on for size: “The difference between ITIL and COBIT for consultants: four words” or “COBIT 5 will be released in April.”

So What’s New?

ISACA states that:

“COBIT 5 builds and expands on COBIT 4.1 by integrating other major frameworks, standards and resources, including ISACA’s Val IT and Risk IT, ITIL (“the IT service management best practice framework”) and related standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).”

ISACA has also very kindly created a COBIT 5 versus COBIT 4.1 comparison document (the download situated at the bottom of the page) – something that was promised for ITIL 2011; if this materialized, I missed it. Instead one of the best references for ITIL v3 versus 2011 is by Ian Clayton on YouTube.

There will also be various flavors of COBIT 5 for different corporate needs – such as security, assurance, and risk. I especially look forward to seeing how a previous COBIT publication for service managers – “COBIT User Guide for Service Managers” – is built upon in COBIT 5. This linked-to article is quick to point out that ITIL and COBIT are complementary rather than competing, with COBIT a framework of policies, processes, procedures, and metrics that can help give governance-related direction to IT operations and associated ITIL processes. Importantly, that COBIT can help guide an organization in what should be covered in processes and procedures – a step beyond ITIL.

There is certainly significant interest with more than 15,000 ISACA members preregistered to download their copy of COBIT 5 today.

“But That’s Not All” (please read this in your best infomercial voice)

Nope, it’s not a free set of steak knives. ISACA has also undertaken a survey of its members to coincide with the launch of COBIT 5. I share some of the key results here.


1. How important does your enterprise’s executive team consider information and technology to be to the delivery of your enterprise’s strategy and vision?
   
a. Not important at all  0%
b. Not very important 4%
c. Somewhat important 20%
d. Very important 74%
e. Don’t know 2%
   
2. Which of the following problems has your enterprise experienced in the last 12 months? (Please check all that apply) (n=3,708)
   
a. High cost of IT with a low or unknown return on investment 41%
b. Project overrun 48%
c. Security breach 22%
d. Privacy breach 12%
e. Disconnect between the IT and business strategies 38%
f. Not enough IT staff* 52%
g. Inadequate disaster recovery or business continuity measures 33%
h. Lack of agility 29%
i. Lack of innovation 25%
j. Serious IT operation incidents 16%
k. Issue related to cloud computing 11%
l. Issue related to mobile device security 21%
m. Issue related to outsourcing 25%
n. Issue related to employees using personal devices for work activities 25%
   
8. What is the greatest benefit your organization receives from its investments in IT? (n=3,746)  
   
a. Cost reduction (e.g., through increased efficiency and/or productivity) 18%
b. Improved customer service (e.g., better-quality and/or faster service) 34%
c. New or improved products and services 22%
d. Improved business intelligence (e.g., leading to better management decisions) 15%
e. Increased security of information  9%
f. Other (please specify) 2%

Check out the ISACA website for the full survey results being published in the not-too-distant future.

Final Thought

I have yet to read COBIT 5 but I can’t help but think that the focus of this new incarnation and the introduction of an associated online collaborative community can only help to build not only industry awareness and adoption but also its content and relevancy in what is an ever-changing IT and business environment.

As a shameless plug for Forrester's research, we will continue to address the issues caused by insufficient IT resource* in our Service Management & Automation Playbook -  http://www.forrester.com/The+Service+Management+And+Automation+Playbook/-/E-PLA105.

 

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If you enjoyed this, please read my latest blog: http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann