IT Governance is far too important to be left to the IT department!
Written by Alan Calder (founder director of IT Governance Ltd)
Your business will stand or fall on the quality of its IT governance. Information technology can enable you to improve your operations and cut costs. And by changing the way you deal with your customers, IT may even have the potential to transform your entire business. However, IT involves an element of risk. For the sake of your bottom line, these risks are something your company needs to be capable of managing.
The banking crisis has thrown the spotlight on corporate governance. All too often, corporate governance is understood in the boardroom only as a financial issue. The reality is that the IT function is vital to the running of your business, so the issue requires leadership from the people at the top. Breaches in information security have the potential to alienate your customers and to damage your company’s reputation. Unless your company is protected from cybercrime, the consequences could cripple your business or lead to heavy financial losses. Failure to comply with the information security provisions of corporate governance codes may even cause your company to be denied a presence in entire countries. The road to information security goes through corporate governance. This means that information security has to be a specific board-agenda item, and a priority at CEO level.
Technology is revolutionising business and society. While you can easily judge how much a factory is worth, some of your company’s most important assets may be the intangible ones. The real worth of your company is a matter of its intellectual capital as well as the sites and machinery in its possession. In today’s world, the ownership of information – patents, designs, databases – is more important than ever. This kind of information is held on computer systems. So your company needs to be as serious about protecting its digital information from industrial espionage and cybercrime as it is about protecting its warehouses from robbery and arson.
A business enabler
Having an effective IT governance framework in place will help you to safeguard your company against an information security breach. At the same time, your IT governance framework can open doors for your business. When there is widespread concern about identity theft, taking information security seriously is a way for you to attract new custom. Adoption of global best practice in regard to risk management is now essential for gaining access to the world’s largest capital markets. Ultimately, an effective IT governance framework is a business enabler. By ensuring that your IT systems are properly integrated with your business, and in harmony with your overall business goals, your company will be in a far better position to drive through changes and improvements. Establishing an IT governance framework is essential for the success both of IT projects and for the larger projects that need support from across the whole organisation.
Benefits to business include:
- Give your business an edge
If you can make your company stand out for how well it protects customer privacy and customer data, you can give it a competitive advantage.
- Bolster corporate governance
In almost every organisation, financial reporting depends on the IT infrastructure, so how can you separate accounting from computing? Compliance with the major corporate governance codes makes it easier for your company to operate internationally. You cannot achieve this compliance without effective IT governance.
- Protect your intellectual capital
Once business information is stored in digital form, it is exposed to new kinds of risk. Ultimately, information security is something for which the board of directors and the CEO are responsible. A careless attitude towards information security will end up damaging your company. If you want to protect your business information from cybercrime, you need to make information security a specific boardroom issue.
- Fuse your IT systems with your strategic goals
Nothing runs itself, not even a computer, and the idea that IT can magically create an entire new market went out with the dot-bomb era. Technology is only a tool. It can only transform a business when the board is determined to make that happen. So if you want your IT systems to work for your business, then the people at the top have to be in control of them.
As the author comments, “The key benefit of an effective, integrated IT governance framework is the leap forward in competitiveness that is achieved through the complete integration of IT into the strategic and operational management of the organisation.”
Buy this book and start making your IT systems work for your business!
About the author:
Alan Calder is the founder director of IT Governance Ltd. His long executive career has spanned both the private and public sectors. He writes, speaks and consults widely on IT governance, compliance and information security.
Author: Alan Calder
Publisher: IT Governance Publishing
ISBN 10: 1905356072
ISBN 13: 9781905356072
Published: May 2005
Availability: In stock, with a complimentary, immediate download of the eBook version for immediate gratification!
Format: Hard Covers
Number of pages: 170