IT governance

IT governance: A simple explanation

A company’s information technology (IT) infrastructure is its foundation. From individual programs you use to the entire framework your IT infrastructure follows, the technology solutions that keep your company running must align with your organisation’s objectives.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your stakeholders to ensure that your organisation adheres to governance practices. IT governance ensures that companies keep their side of the bargain by designing an IT network that is both efficient and productive for operational use.

What is IT governance?

IT governance is an aspect of enterprise governance that deals with managing technology (and its associated systems and processes) in a business setting. It ensures that investments into your IT network fully support your company’s strategies and objectives while remaining compliant with governmental and international regulations. 

It is not a practice reserved for managed IT service companies. It is an approach to developing a comprehensive IT strategy that every business should follow, no matter their industry or customer base. 

IT governance targets stakeholders and other parties who regularly interact with you, your products, and your services. It looks to give them peace of mind knowing that your IT systems are not a testament to a lack of financial planning or vision.

Instead, it shows that your IT infrastructure is comprised of solutions that will allow your business to reach its goals and develop new ones – without wasting resources or making rushed decisions.

What are IT governance frameworks?

IT governance frameworks are policies and procedures your business follows to ensure that your hardware and software align with your company’s goals. There are numerous frameworks in the IT world, each with its own name and specifications.

Some of these frameworks include:

  • COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies) – a globally recognised framework. COBIT covers IT management in relation to business.
  • ITIL (Information Technology Information Library) – implements standardised processes for businesses to follow when delivering IT solutions. ITIL develops alongside a company and provides IT workers with a more precise, business-oriented perspective.
  • FAIR (Factor Analysis of Information Risk) – prioritises cyber security, risk management, and threat mitigation methods. FAIR aims to help companies prevent security threats by studying hypotheticals and implementing solutions to avoid them or reduce the likelihood of them occurring.
  • AS8015: 2005 (Australian Standard 8015: 2005) – an Australian guideline for maintaining an organisation’s information and communication technology (ICT). 

Every framework promotes transparency and regulatory practices when building an IT infrastructure. Without these compliances, businesses may have difficulty sourcing beneficial solutions and convincing stakeholders that the investments were worth it.

Why is IT governance important for businesses?

Australian businesses could lose an average of $6.5 million if they do not embrace modern technologies and incorporate them into their daily procedures. From infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to cloud infrastructure, IT can be confusing without a clear vision or prior research.

IT governance is important because it ensures that every piece of information and software distributed throughout your organisation complies with applicable laws, regulations, and corporate goals. Your company’s IT network should reflect a strategic plan and help you generate revenue. 

Proper IT governance gives you and your team the ability to analyse your IT network in real time to determine its efficacy for immediate and long-term success. No matter the framework you choose to follow, you and your employees will have common aims and the solutions needed to satisfy your goals.

Benefits of strong IT governance

It is no secret that technology and IT strategies can help boost an organisation’s productivity and shift a workplace’s culture to one that promotes efficiency and customer satisfaction. In today’s world of digital technologies and rapid change, IT governance is an asset that can help your business redefine its objectives with updated roadmaps, the latest solutions, and a clearer focus on your company’s needs.

Prioritising IT governance can benefit your business in several ways. These include:

  • Bolstering existing business operations – enhances your organisation’s efficiency and profit-generating procedures by unifying your IT and business strategies.
  • Better insights into your company’s workplace processes – promotes an evaluation of company policies and procedures by determining whether or not your current IT operating system is working as intended.
  • Raises awareness of new technologies and solutions – educates you and your team on the latest technologies on the market, giving you opportunities to consider what would or would not work for you.
  • Ensures compliance and regulated practices – reassures stakeholders that your company takes cyber security, data protection, and data usage seriously. It helps your business align with GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) policies.
  • Reduces the risk of wasted resources – ensures that your IT investments are cost-effective and are in everyone’s best interests.

An effective IT strategy is one aspect of your master plan for organisational success. Whether it is enforced via a managed IT support provider or an in-house IT team, IT governance can help revitalise that plan, make it compliant, and ensure that your IT infrastructure streamlines operations and maximises efficiency.

Leverage IT governance today

Your business has already made it. Your staff is engaged with their work, you regularly meet with clients, and your values are fully displayed with every customer you satisfy. None of that should be dampened by IT systems that hold you back with outdated solutions and programs that add nothing to your daily tasks.

The business IT support specialists at Muscatech have years of experience in IT governance and the policies that surround them. Contact the team today so you can re-evaluate your IT systems, upgrade them with the latest solutions, and smash your business’s goals out of the park.

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