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Summary

IT governance must be operated in a way that suits the organization as it is now, and to help achieve improved management as the envisioned organization takes shape as per the corporate strategy. Extensive planning is necessary to ensure that IT governance addresses key organizational priorities, can be properly understood, and that value is delivered.

IT governance requirements will evolve over time

Ovum’s definition of IT governance, unlike some others, is simple and succinct, and applies to all types of organization: IT governance is a management framework via which an organization maximizes the value that it derives from IT in support of its strategic objectives.

Because each and every organization is individual, with strategic objectives that derive from many elements of its make-up, it is clear the requirements of IT governance are also different for each organization. We can say that there are some generics, and be clear about what IT governance intrinsically is not: it is not a system, or an IT solution, and is not about technology adoption. Stating something positively, it is true to say generically that establishing or evolving the requisite management framework, as per our definition, always involves defining appropriate processes. While particular IT solution types are available to enable various IT governance processes to be operated and managed efficiently, and to integrate and manage the relevant information, they cannot define the IT governance that is appropriate for any end-user organization.

Knowing where to start, and what steps to take to determine the appropriate management framework, is critical. In many ways, these key actions are not too different from those undertaken within any business project, namely to understand the requirements, look at the practicalities, and make a plan to bring about achievement of the aims, before embarking on delivery. However, as IT is and will remain the key critical foundation for organizational capabilities and development, the ever-changing world dictates that IT governance must support requirements that evolve unpredictably. Consequently, organizations must review the continued validity of their IT governance plans as the context changes, both on a regular basis and when major events trigger reassessment of the enterprise’s priorities, such as, for example, merger or acquisition activity, restructuring, or a strategy change.

Appendix

Further reading

IT Governance: How to Target Ongoing Organizational Benefit, IT0018-001458 (January 2015)

Author

Alan Rodger, Senior Analyst, Enterprise ICT Management

alan.rodger@ovum.com

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