IT governance can be seen as a structure of relationships and processes to direct and control the enterprise’s use of IT to achieve the enterprise‘s goals by adding value while balancing risk versus return over IT and its processes. It provides the structures that links IT processes, IT resources and information to enterprise objectives.
IT governance has become a necessity in creating value, sustaining and extending organisational objectives and ensuring IT business strategy alignment.
The growing importance of IT Governance has seen IT structures changing and evolving over the years. A lot of changes and perceptions in IT Governance have taken place in the past years and will continue to do so in the future.
Below is a list of forecasted changes in IT Governance:
Integration of IT and business decisions
IT decisions such as purchase of IT equipment will not be a sole prerogative of the IT department or IT management. IT decisions will be driven by enterprise requirements, business process owners and IT subject matter experts to meet enterprise requirements.
More business involvement in IT decisions
Business will become more involved in decisions affecting business. IT policies, process and procedures will based on their ability to extend and sustain business objectives. This will lead to business and IT coming together to make decisions that will result in strategic alignment of business and IT. Divisional senior managers, directors, and the CEO will play a major role in IT decisions.
Changing role of CIO, CIO becoming a must on the board meetings
The role of CIO is fast changing from that of a technology leader to a business leader. CIOs are becoming more business oriented than ever before. It will become necessary for CIO to become permanent features on board meetings or in some cases permanent board members. IT directors will be phased out and CIO will become proponents of IT and business alignment. CIOs will no longer be recruited on the basis of their IT know-how but their ability to blend business requirements with IT and ability use IT to add value to the enterprise, to strategically position the enterprise while preserving enterprise value, measure the performance of IT and manage resources effectively. The demand of CIO for effective governance will see many organisations adopting the CIO position.
IT becoming a regular board meeting agenda
More and more boards are realising the importance of IT in sustaining and extending their organisational goals and achieving unique selling plusses. IT will become a must board agenda. Board members will only leave IT on their periodic agendas at the organisation’s peril. It will become crucial for the chief executive officers, partners, departmental heads and section managers to be involved in IT matters.
Emerging positions in enterprises (IT Business Managers, IT Governance Specialist)
The importance of IT Governance will lead to emerging positions such as IT Business Managers and IT Governance specialist to drive IT governance initiatives already many organisations have created IT governance specialist positions.
IT governance becoming a necessity to both private and public institutions
In today’s economy, and with reliance on IT for competitive advantage, organisations cannot afford to apply anything less than the level of commitment they apply to overall competence to IT. It’s no longer only the prerogative of private companies that have to worry about IT governance but government organisations as well. The increasing demand for government expenditure accountability, loss of billions of dollars in failed government IT projects and increased reliance on IT for efficient public service delivery has led to an ever increasing need for business governance of IT.
Convergence and evolving of Frameworks
IT governance frameworks are evolving. Institutions of IT governance are merging together, for example Information Technology Governance Institute (ITGI) and Office of Government Commerce (OGC) are aligning COBIT 4.1, ITIL V3 and ISO/IEC 27002 for business benefit. Frameworks will be combined. To date COBIT has combined with almost every IT governance framework and has control objective for most IT governance models.
Changing role of IT Auditors
As IT governance becomes more mature the need for testing compliance and substantive controls will decrease IT auditors will become more IT Governance advisory specialist than controls testers.
Tichaona Zororo CISA, CISM, CGEIT