What Is IT Governance, and Why Do You Need It?

As enterprise IT becomes increasingly complex, businesses find themselves under increasing pressure to align their IT investments and support with their business objectives. With there being no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, IT governance lays down a formal framework to base your entire strategy around. By following this framework, companies will be better equipped to achieve their goals through measurable results.

IT governance frameworks refer to the organizational structure and strategic alignment of your company’s utilization of computing resources to meet specific goals. More than just another buzzword among business IT executives, its growing importance is largely the result of increasingly stringent laws and regulations pertaining to the handling of corporate data.

Better Risk Management and Accountability

One of the core goals of IT governance is to identify and manage the risks facing your business. Organizations will need to conduct a thorough audit of their networked resources and data-bearing systems to ensure they’re compliant with any relevant government regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI DSS, among others. Since IT governance provides greater visibility into your corporate IT projects, it allows you to reduce risk and manage potential vulnerabilities more effectively.

Information governance has become a core goal of any enterprise IT strategy, with IT governance frameworks providing guidelines on the management, accessibility and protection of sensitive information. These frameworks also help establish financial accountability, disaster recovery planning, and data retention as per current industry regulations and recommended best practices.

Improved Performance through Strategic Planning

While a core element of IT governance is information security, many methodologies have also been designed to help improve performance and aid in strategic planning. With a formalized framework in place, you’ll be better able to manage projects more effectively, optimize your IT operations and gain complete visibility into your application and hardware portfolio.

IT governance ultimately helps organizations get more value out of their IT resources. Proper governance doesn’t just help with data security – it also helps to promote faster decision-making through easier data sharing and greater collaboration. At the same time, IT executives can enjoy complete strategic oversight of the entire project.

How Do You Implement IT Governance?

IT governance is a broad term that encompasses various industry-standard and even proprietary frameworks. By far the easiest way to start is to implement a framework that has already been created by experts in the industry and is used and supported by thousands of organizations around the world. One of the most popular frameworks is ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), which outlines five sets of recommended management practices for the implementation, operation and maintenance of your IT systems. Other commonly used frameworks include FAIR, CMMI, COSO and COBIT.

Different frameworks have different focuses. For example, COBIT and COSO largely concern risk assessment and mitigation, while ITIL focuses heavily on optimizing operations and streamlining data, and CMMI is primarily for software engineering and hardware development. However, you don’t need to stick with just one framework – some frameworks complement one another quite well.

Ensuring a smooth, goal-driven IT governance implementation is no easy task. That’s why IntelligIS helps businesses of any size build enterprise-level IT infrastructures. If you’re ready to assess your needs for managed IT services, give us a call today.