Essay On IT Governance

Three pillars for successful IT governance
Effective IT governance depends on three critical pillars which are leadership, organization and decision rights, flexible and scalable process and use of enabled technology.
Leadership, organization and decision rights – we need to define the structure of organization, roles and responsibilities, the decision rights, vision and interface and touch points for the proactive change.
• The roles and responsibilities should be well defined with respect to each of the IT governance components and processes. This includes the steering and review hierarchies for investment authorization, resolution of issues and periodic review sessions.
• Clear hand off and interface agreements and contracts should exist for internal and external work and deliverables.
• Motivated leaders and champions with the right talent, drive and competencies
• Metrics for performance measurement
• CIO should be the agent to link process to technology within the business. He should also provide tools for enablement and innovation.
Flexible and scalable processes – Heavy emphasis on process transformation and improvement for effective IT governance. This would include planning, project management, portfolio investment management, risk management, service management and performance management, vendor management, control and audits etc.
• Process should be well defined, documented and measured
• Should clearly define interfaces between the organization to ensure that workflow spans across boundaries
• Process should be flexible, scalable and consistently applied with common sense.

Enabling Technology – leverage tools and technologies that support the major IT governance components.
• Process are supported by software tools ...

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...e necessary for effective governance
IT governance must be thoughtfully and actively designed. Executive management must be involved for it to be effective.
Without transparency there is not trust. Transparency must be built in to IT governance so that there is confidence in the processes.
Acknowledge that changing governance can take months. Make changes only when desirable behaviors change markedly.
Educating executives and managers about why governance is important is a constant challenge and requirement. Good behaviors must be reinforced and inappropriate behaviors redirected.
A sharp focus on a limited number of goals, behaviors and metrics is necessary. Good governance requires choices. You can optimize on multiple options.
There must be clear exception handling processes, with transparent and rapid escalation processes. Exceptions are how enterprises learn.

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