Tuesday, April 28, 2020

IT GRC Framework and Disciplines

The ultimate goal of IT governance is to ensure the business making the right decisions and steer the organization in the right direction.

Framework means the structural skeleton which defines building blocks and how these blocks relate to each other at the conceptual level; IT plays a critical role in strategy, data/IT governance, and risk management in the digital era.

IT governance and risk management must be integrated with overall risk management and governance processes. There are the following components in the GRC framework:

The organizational relationship that defines responsibility and accountability: There are complexities, competitions, conflicts, and controversies all over the places, organizations need to manage multi-layer and multi-dimensional business relationships such as cross-functional relationship, customer relationship, vendor relationship, etc, effectively. An organizational relationship defines responsibility, one of the key principles of assigning responsibilities is to reduce as far as the possible number of people who have to be involved in each task for enforcing accountability. Accountability needs a safe environment, shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, necessary resources to succeed.

Organizations must seek a process for collaboration, accountability, and most importantly, integration to create business synergy. An effective IT GRC framework helps IT management define clear objectives, processes and structures required, resources, the authority of the system, and performance indicators with solid accountability and responsibility to deliver organizational objectives and implement business strategy steadily.

IT operational deliveries and results: The overwhelming growth of information and the shortened business cycle force IT management to become more rational and logical. While some organizations are perhaps excellent in the execution of project management, they may not have a high mature portfolio management processes with the GRC discipline in place. The effective IT applications portfolio blended with current digital trends can deliver significant benefits to the business, such as customer satisfaction, business optimization, and change adaptability, etc.

Portfolio management is essential to successful corporate governance and as such, a comprehensive fusing of a firm's strategic capabilities. The bigger the program and the longer the time between major delivery points, the greater the risk going up exponentially. Thus, a well defined IT GRC framework is important to priority settings, budget planning, resource reallocation, and technology diversions, etc, for not just delivering what the business asks for, but being able to provide the ”best solution” for the business.

IT Policy Management: The policy is a set of principles for decision making or guidelines to drive behaviors. The policy as a compass will guide all levels of the organization to function more as the human body operates with the cells and organs in a cohesive way. IT policies and principles provide a robust foundation that makes it possible to straightforwardly derive solution-level governance and ensure the effectiveness of IT management practices.

In practice, making good policy is actually part of governance discipline. Establish policies and procedures help to ensure understanding, ownership, and accountability by management and employees. No process works without policy. A process in and of itself must be governed or it won't be followed and the best procedure or program cannot enforce it. People in high-performance organizations follow the good policies voluntarily for their own benefit and make the workplace highly productive, autonomous, innovative, and delightful.

Risk management assessment and reviews:
Organizations encounter more risks than ever due to over-complex business dynamics. Lacks risk awareness creates more blind spots uncovered and gaps unfilled. It is important for leveraging an effective IT GRC framework to identify vulnerability in the control via risk assessment and determine the potential range of consequences ($, business interruption, reputation, etc.). All of these are applicable to the entire IT organization (data, security, operations).

Risk Management mechanism needs to be well embedded in both soft business factors such as corporate culture and hard organizational elements such as processes or procedures, etc. Highly effective Risk Management is not just about risk mitigation or controlling, but more advanced as risk intelligence; because it enables the accumulation of enough resources to thrive by capturing opportunities in it and adapting to the uncertainty and changes.

Commitment compliance via meeting legal, regulatory, or corporate requirements: Compliance is the management discipline of designing and implementing effective management steps to ensure that the company actually complies with the laws and regulations relating to its operations. Information Technology brings significant opportunities and risks to the organizations today, the business expects IT to play a critical role in GRC, to ensure rigorous compliance with regulatory requirements in order to run and protect business flawlessly.

The effective IT GRC framework and compliance tool monitors change, alerts the organization to risk conditions, and enables accountability and collaboration around changes impacting each firm. Not only is compliance part of governance, in fact, depending on the industry and company situation, but a well-governed organization could also go beyond that compliance which is necessary and appropriate, to a state of compliance that creates a competitive advantage.

IT fails due to the lack of governance structure when dealing with complex IT management that involves a high level of change at the process, people, product, or technology level. The best approach for IT GRC has been the one that has aligned the framework approach with the maturity of the IT function and the expectations business leaders have, from ways of working, political equations among key leaders, and the decision-making approach in the organization. The ultimate goal of IT governance is to ensure the business making the right decisions and steer the organization in the right direction.


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