IT Governance: the era of data
Today more than ever, we find ourselves immersed in a new era. The pandemic we are experiencing has given even more importance, if possible, to Digitization, giving more relevance to the Information Technology (IT) area, although sometimes it is hard to see its importance within an organization.
Continuous innovation in IT is a vehicle that offers possibilities to achieve a competitive advantage, facilitating and causing the integration of different environments, which until now had remained isolated from each other:
- Personal and business environment: integrating personal and professional environments, expanding connectivity through ubiquity and mobility. For example, through 100% remote work or hybrid models.
- Physical world and digital world: integrated through new hybrid models, for example, the e-commerce offer with delivery and testing in a physical store.
Recently, we have undergone a paradigm shift, the accessibility and treatment of information. This paradigm shift affects both companies and people and, sometimes, driven by external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is causing a disruptive change in the way of working, which will require an adaptation process both at the material as well as cultural.
Information, an essential asset for the development of business strategies by the corporate governance bodies
On the other hand, the constant evolution of technology, the increase in information processing capacity and a continuous change in the way of extracting and analysing information, have made information an essential asset for the development of business strategies by the corporate governance bodies. We can say that we are in the "Data Age", so IT Governance is of vital importance, ensuring that business processes and information and communication technology processes work together.
Corporate governance and IT governance
Corporate Governance is the system by which companies are managed, administered and controlled with respect to professional relationships between shareholders, the Board of Directors, Management and independent audits, to increase the value of the company, facilitate access to capital and guarantee the longevity of the company.
As we mentioned before, in the current scenario that tends towards greater Digitization and exploitation of information, IT Governance is an integral part and a great ally of corporate governance, with a prominent role in developing strategies and defining the objectives of the organizations.
It is a structured combination of a set of management models, responsibilities, skills and cabilities that is shared and assumed within companies by IT executives, managers, technicians and users. These have the objective of effectively controlling processes, guaranteeing information security, optimizing the use of resources and providing support for decision-making in line with the organization's vision, mission and strategic objectives.
But, how can IT Governance contribute to materializing the benefits of the Business? To answer this question, we must consider the following aspects:
- Strategic alignment: IT governance ensures that both business and information technology processes work together.
- Value delivery: key benefit of IT governance, ensuring that the information technology sector is as efficient and effective as possible.
- Risk management: IT governance allows the company to visualize and widely understand the possible risks to the business and provides ways to minimize them.
- Capacity management: in this case, the role of IT governance is to ensure that the management of the company's human and technological resources is as optimized as possible.
- Performance measurement: through the use of indicators (which go far beyond financial criteria, for example, the measurement of IT services), IT Governance ensures the measurement and evaluation of business objectives.
Design and implementation of the IT Governance of the company
At Izertis we have the experience to support our clients in the implementation of IT Governance models. Supported by the COBIT framework, at Izertis, we have developed a methodology for the design and implementation of IT Government Offices that help to obtain the optimal value of IT resources, maintaining a balance between obtaining benefits, the use of resources and the levels of assumed risk.
Based on our experience in implementing these models, we highlight 4 key aspects in governance design:
Likewise, at Izertis we establish a roadmap for the implementation of the Government office in 7 phases, summarized in the following image:
In this implementation model, the last two phases take on special relevance, which allow evaluating the achievement of the objectives initially set, and the identification of new requirements, closing a cycle that encourages continuous improvement and guarantees the evolution of the Office. Thus:
During phase 6 – Obtain benefits, it is evaluated whether the previously defined objectives have been achieved. It focuses on both the scalable transition of governance and management practices and the monitoring of improvements using performance metrics and expected benefits.
In phase 7 – Review effectiveness, other governance and management requirements are identified, and the need for continuous improvement is reinforced. In addition, opportunities to improve the governance model are prioritized.
At Izertis we have been promoting the benefits of good IT Governance for years, since, through the support of this Government to Corporate Governance, we can evolve any organization to make it dynamic and adaptable to an increasingly changing environment, imbuing a constant need for improvement. in its culture, for a better definition and achievement of its objectives and strategies.
Article co-written by Virginia Pérez and Antonio Luque.