March 7, 2008

Why IT Governance and Enterprise Architecture

I came across an excellent white paper by the National Association of the State CIOs (NASCIO) on IT governance that goes through the fundamentals.

What is IT governance?

IT governance is “specifying the decision rights and accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT.”

Sound IT governance helps to ensure effective use of IT resources, “avoid unnecessary or redundant investments,” more successfully deliver IT solutions, and “enhance appropriate cross-boundary interoperability.”

Why is IT governance ever more important?

According to Gartner, the net average ROI for IT projects is only 1% and as of 2002, “20% of all expenditures on IT were wasted.”

“Information management approaches used during previous eras are no longer sufficient.”

“Information technology is no longer restricted to simply automating procedures, or even managing information, rather, information technology now enables and even outstrips an enterprise organizational capabilities for transformation.”

We “continue to depend more and more on information technology to achieve efficiencies, collaborative information sharing, business intelligence, and information socialization.”

Who should be involved in IT governance?

“Proper IT governance requires a highly participative collaboration between…CIOs and executive leadership on the business side.”

“Pure technology decisions will be primarily made by leadership with information technology with consulting input from the business. Pure business decision making will be primarily made by business leadership with consulting input from the…CIO. However, in most cases, determination of where and when to employ technology will be a shared responsibility.”

This is the piece that I liked the best—the convergence of the necessity for sound IT governance with robust enterprise architecture is what it takes to truly yield results. As the paper states: “In fact, information technology properly managed and deployed within the umbrella of enterprise architecture will provide the path to transformation.”


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