Friday, October 10, 2014

Why is IT governance so difficult to implement?

 Governance refers to principles, direction, and guidance.

Governance is like steering wheel, keeps their business toward the right direction, IT governance plays a significant role in setting guidance and principles to manage business’s information system which is the lifeblood of today’s always-on and hyper-connected digital business. IT governance is converging with business governance, because nowadays IT is business, and business’s IT, but why is IT governance so difficult to implement?

Governance is the act of Governing - managing with oversight. This is about ensuring IT departments do what they are supposed to do and are aligned with the business. Governance refers to direction and guidance. This equates to structures, processes, and cost-effective technology, all of which need not to be overly complicated or cumbersome if implemented through a considered roadmap and project plan. The willingness of the organization to want to implement IT Governance together with an understanding of what it entails is important.

Take an integral IT governance approach is important: With a plan, and coordination, IT Governance need not be overly difficult. Having committed executive who understands outcomes and objectives relevant to their business will make the journey so much easier. There’s analog of a philharmonic orchestra where you have the information (the piece of music) and the instrument (technology), the need for an integrated approach is the most important - What info you need for your stakeholders (the piece of music) and what technology you need to produce this information (instrument) with the mandatory requirement (compliance) and the voluntary requirement (policies, SLA's etc) 

IT governance stretches its arms into many areas and they need to be identified and understood. Follow a model, improve the perception of IT and support the business more effectively. Senior management generally prioritizes capital investments based on perceived ROI and business units tend to do a better job of articulating their business case, so IT infrastructure investments, in general, may fall below other efforts. More often, IT is distracted by "keep the lights on" urgency rather than planning and implementing and becoming a contributor of business best practices.
1). IT does not follow a model that businesses understand. 
2). IT still works in isolation and doesn't get the backing from the business. 
3). IT struggles at the table for the budget because they have seen as a cost center and not a valued contributor. 

IT governance isn't really hard to understand, but the implementation is difficult; because, in situations where there is very little process maturity within the IT department, there is a lot of core work to do just on the very basics of Operational activity including the help desk as they might call it. The difficulty of implementing IT governance is caused by
1). Generally low organizational maturity 
2). Lack of management capability 
3). Vested interests 
4). The confusion that GRC has something to do with IT Governance.

A thousand mile starts with the first step: IT department has an IT Management Framework, either verbally understood or documented. So in the end, how does IT management want to run their department? The IT Management Framework is bigger and its foundation feeds nicely into governance. There is also a different perspective as well. IT will look at improving a service which touches a number of governance areas each in small ways. Small incremental changes can be made to improve the effectiveness of IT. Each Director and Manager can do just a few small things that will significantly improve their work efficiently, thereby reduce overall risk and improve the value of IT within the organization. 


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