On the surface of it, it seems like IT Governance is a lot of trouble for no tangible return. Yet, if we really take the time to think about it, a business runs on information. The decision-makers in the company rely on the data collected, and the information generated by the information systems to make their decisions. An information system that delivers timely and accurate information is an invaluable asset to any company.
And yet, how many companies really have a proper IT policy? Many companies think an information system is a sort of “fire and forget” system — that it can be installed and then left alone to work. Like all systems, however, it will suffer from decay over time. Software becomes obsolete, hardware ages and suffers from wear and tear, and even processes become old and inefficient as new (and more efficient) ways of doing things are discovered. Proper processes need to be in place to ensure that obsolete software is properly disposed of, and hardware stripped and securely disposed.
Continue reading “Why do we need IT Governance?”
When we talk about IT governance, we’re basically talking about three things: Data Management, Asset Management and PeopleManagement. Data are the building blocks from which information can be derived. Because of this, it’s important to have a framework that determines who has access to what data. It is of supreme importance to a company that they should be able to control the flow of information, to determine where it comes from, where it goes, and who it goes to. According to Weill and Ross, IT governance is “Specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT.”
It’s important to note that “desirable behavior” is mentioned here. Data management concerns itself with “encouraging desirable behavior”. In the case of data management, this means “desirable behavior of data”. What happens when data leaves a server? How do we track and monitor the flow of the data, where it goes, and where it stops? These questions need to be answered. Answering these questions is what makes for proper data management. The people and processes that are put into place to analyze the flow of data, and to alert the correct people should anything seem out of the ordinary, this is what makes data management invaluable to the average business.
Continue reading “What is IT Governance?”