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IT Governance

Do you know ...
... what's going on in your IT department?
... what value you get out of your IT systems?
... if your people are utilizing the existing IT systems fully?
... if your IT projects are delivered in the most efficient way?
... if you are using the most efficient IT vendors?
... if your IT is ready for your company's future?
... if you spend enough or too much for your IT?


IT Governance, if implemented properly, gives you the answer to these questions

Do you know ...
... what's going on in your IT department?
... what value you get out of your IT systems?
... if your people are utilizing the existing IT systems fully?
... if your IT projects are delivered in the most efficient way?
... if you are using the most efficient IT vendors?
... if your IT is ready for your company's future?
... if you spend enough or too much for your IT?


IT Governance, if implemented properly, gives you the answer to these questions, e.g.

  • It ensures that you maximize the value of your IT systems.
  • It helps you not to waste any baht in systems that don't enhance your business.
  • It provides tools to implement the "minimal IT" concept, a way to implement always just the right amount of IT.
  • It helps you to have full transparency about what your IT is doing with your investment at all times.
  • It supports the alignment of all IT initiatives to the overall company strategy.

So, what is IT Governance? It's a process framework that involves a mix of the following:
  • Control of the work performed by your IT department
  • Co-ordination between different IT projects and activities
  • Measurement of outcome of IT projects and activities
  • Compliance with internal company policy
  • Justification of IT spending (!)
  • Clear assignment of accountability and responsibilities
  • Transparency of status of cost and value drivers
  • Ensuring alignment of the needs of customers, the broader organization, and other IT stakeholders

 

How can you make this happen in your organization?

First of all you need to understand the role of IT in your organization. In which areas is IT absolutely business critical, i.e. does provide significant competitive advantage and which areas are more or less nice to have?
Then you set up an organization (IT PMO - IT Program Management Office) that will conduct all relevant IT Governance activities. The size of this organization will strongly depend on the role and importance of IT in your business. In some companies this would be a virtual organization, and some other companies may have to have more than 20 people in this function.

Then you get a standard IT Governance framework such as COBIT and adjust it to your organization. You don't necessarily need to implement the full framework - be aware what processes are really important for your business.
The implementation of the processes will require a change in thinking and possible also a culture change for your people. Therefore don't implement all processes at once. If you do it step by step, the chance is much higher that the new processes will be accepted and effectively used by your people. Start with processes that immediately provide value such as reporting, issue resolution and project prioritization and then move to more long-term oriented processes such as project audit and continuous improvement.

Very important for all of this is that top management is frequently reviewing the status using standardized KPI's and acts upon critical issues.

At the beginning, IT governance may be perceived as unnecessary overhead, but you will soon find out how much more smooth your IT organization will run and how much more confidence you will win that your IT department is really valuable for your business. IT governance doesn't require much investment but the savings potential is usually quite significant. Companies in Thailand who do get their IT Governance well implemented will clearly increase their competitive advantage.

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