What is an IT Governance Framework?

IT Governance Framework

What is a governance framework? 

A governance framework is essential for modern governance and legal operations; it directs how people interact with the organization, with regulators, and with stakeholders to closely guide and monitor operations. 

Governance frameworks give support and create structure for an organization’s compliance operations. It is through governance that companies and other organizations stay on the right side of regulators, in terms of filing requirements as well as aspects such as company culture, payment methods, and transparency of operations. 

What is the IT governance framework?  

An IT governance framework is a process that defines the methods used by an organization to implement, manage, and report on IT governance within said organization. 

What are some of the most used IT governance frameworks  

There are different IT governance frameworks and if organizations want to maximize their IT governance efficiency, then they need to choose the framework that suites their needs best. The most common IT governance frameworks that organizations use include: 

COBIT, or Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies:  

Created by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, COBIT is specifically designed for enterprise IT and is considered the industry-standard best practice IT governance framework. 

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library: 

A framework that considers how IT service strategy, design, transition, operations, and service improvement can support core business practices. 

COSO, or the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission: 

A framework that focuses on internal controls rather than on IT-specific functions, integrating other frameworks like risk management and fraud prevention. 

CMMI, or the Capability Maturity Model Integration framework: 

With a focus on performance improvement, CMMI uses a scale to evaluate an organization’s performance, quality, and profitability. 

FAIR or Factor Analysis of Information Risk: 

FAIR helps organizations quantify their level of cybersecurity and organizational risk and is the only international-standard quantitative model for the latter. 

How to choose which framework to use? 

Most IT governance frameworks are designed to help you decide how your IT department is functioning overall, what key metrics management needs, and what return IT is giving back to the business from its investments. 

When reviewing frameworks, consider your company’s culture. Is there a type of framework or model that stands out as a perfect fit? Does it resonate with your stakeholders? That framework is the best choice. Also, remember that you don’t have to just choose one framework, there are frameworks that complement each other, and it might make sense for your organization to use both. 

What are the benefits of IT governance frameworks? 

Alignment and responsiveness 

Governance works hand in hand with IT portfolio management, it provides the professionals with a clear understanding of the current use case of their IT setup, where does the loophole exist, and where the company goals and objectives are not being met. This way the leaders or higher management can take action and redistribute their IT investment to cover the sections where IT strategy is lackluster and is not aligning with the relative goals and objectives of the company. 

Resource balancing 

Another great benefit of strict IT governance is that the management will always be a step ahead of the understanding of current IT resources that are available and how many more will be needed to align with future needs. This allows us to restructure the IT investment and make transactions to add more IT support so that it is just enough when the opportunity presents itself. 

Organizational risk management 

Having an IT governance policy helps in making sure that the upper management and the lead body is aware of the current organizational risks that they will be following regarding IT initiatives and so that a proper risk mitigation plan can be implemented to avoid the negative consequences of an unaligned IT architecture that fails to cover for the basic needs of the company’s strategies and goals. 

Execution and enforcement 

IT governance would provide the leader body with a proper framework using which they can easily manage all their IT initiatives and demands. The standardization of the IT platform can be done through this method while allowing the management to make informed decisions in this regard. The very execution of the IT systems and the enforcement of the policies can be streamlined using IT governance as the detection and monitoring tool. The ultimate purpose of this policy should be to bring actionable insight to the senior management so they can make informed decisions having each detail lined in front of them. 

How IBM OpenPages helps organizations tackle IT governance  

IBM OpenPages IT Governance facilitates excellence in information technology governance by aligning IT policy, risk, and operations management with corporate business initiatives, strategy, and operational standards. This next-generation governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solution features the business intelligence capabilities of IBM Cognos Analytics for self-service data exploration and insights. The UI was developed with IBM Enterprise Design Thinking for optimal user experience. With IBM OpenPages IT Governance, organizations obtain a holistic view of IT risks and map them to business processes. This helps ensure that top-line and bottom-line performance goals are met. 

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