back to article IT governance: Making the case without cutting your throat

‘IT governance’ sounds like a grandiose idea, but what is it? In simplest terms, it’s a subset of the (even more grandiose sounding) discipline of corporate governance, focused, unsurprisingly on IT. The idea is to reduce the ‘black box-ness’ of IT by guiding the way it is approached through taking the requirements of …


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Anonymous Coward


We are playing bullshit bingo here aren't we?


IT Nonsense

What a bunch of nonsense. Don't get me wrong, the idea that IT is to serve the business needs of the company is the right idea, but I have yet to se it done the right way, and I have been in the IT business for 25 years.

When it comes to "IT Governance" most organizations have somebody in charge of it that are experts in sales, or other business aspects, and as a result they have the idea that they are always right, even when they are wrong. "IT governance" almost always results in IT being micromanaged to the point that it ties the hands of those doing the work, and I will prove it in a moment.

most corporations are buracracies. They are politically run by a bunch of "yes" men and women.

The IT based corporations that are most seccessful are the ones with the engineers in charge. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google. Think about that a moment. They are the most successful, and they run their corporations in very very different ways than other corporations are run.

If you want your corporation to do as well, then you need a major shift in practices. Tell your IT people the goals of the company. and be very very general. Do NOT get into specifics. Then, the IT engineers will come up with what will make it work, and they will tell you what you need, and it will be your job to get it to them. If you folow this model, you will see wonderous things.


I smell consultants...

"The idea is to reduce the ‘black box-ness’ of IT by guiding the way it is approached through taking the requirements of stakeholders such as the board, internal ‘customers’ and departments such as finance and operations into account."

Only someone who has never really worked for a living could say something like that and think it was a new idea. Aren't you just saying, "pay attention dumbass, you're not the only guy in the company"?


ISO 38500

Getting governance of IT to work effectively is a major challenge for both the business and IT. Many of us are very careful to emphasise when we are talking about governance of IT, rather than IT's own internal governance.

As ISO/IEC 38500, the international standard for governance of IT, makes very clear the governance of IT is primarily a responsibility of directors , as, indeed, is any other aspect of corporate governance. As IT managers we have a responsibility to assist senior business managers in understanding the right questions to ask.

Too often, for instance, project gateway reviews are dominated by the business asking if it is still on time and within budget, not on whether the project has strayed from its original remit, or whether it remains a sensible option to pursue.

I believe that one of the strengths of ISO 38500 is that it is set at a level that does not unduly constrain IT management because it focuses on the big questions, not the minutia. Unfortunately I suspect the natural tendency in IT to map frameworks on to each other,and on to organisational structures whilst also dis-assembling them to a component level will mean it that strength will be lost..

James Finister

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