Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT)
From all the IT Best Practice Frameworks, IT Governance if frequently considered one of the the most difficult topics. In this article, we therefore explain some key concepts that have to do with Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT) and why this topic is important for IT organizations.
What is Governance of Enterprise IT?
In its basic form, Governance of Enterprise IT is a very simple: GEIT ensures that the IT resources of an organization are used in an effective way in order to fulfil stakeholder needs. It is about delivering value. Although this sound very easy and straightforward, the problem of this definition (and thus of GEIT) is that these stakeholder needs are different for every organization. Before you start with any GEIT system, you should ask yourself the question: “What is GEIT here?” from the perspective of the organization planning the initiative and from the context of industry and region in which it operates.
What are the benefits of GEIT?
Implementing a GEIT system can bring many benefits to an organization, including lower costs, greater control, more efficient and effective use of resources, and overall better strategic alignment and risk management. But maybe even more importantly – GEIT provides structured approach. It means that GEIT is not a one-time initiative, but an ongoing activity that needs to be monitored an adjusted over time.
It is exactly the structured nature of a GEIT system, why most organizations choose to define and implement Governance of Enterprise IT. Although people, processes and technology change over time in any organization, the GEIT system stays in place and can be continually monitored and improved. With other words, the system provides a stable environment for further improvement.
What is the difference between GEIT and COBIT?
COBIT 5 – the framework of ISACA – is a framework that organizations can use in order to design their GEIT. It is, with other words, a reference model that every organization can use. COBIT provides processes and a structure that is applicable for (most) enterprises. In that sense, it provides a quick start for organizations. By using COBIT 5, an enterprise embraces a ‘best practice’ that can be tailored to individual needs.
A second key benefit of COBIT is that that it provides the COBIT Maturity Model. The COBIT maturity model is measuring how well IT processes are managed and provides further guidance on improvements. With the COBIT Maturity Model, the structured approach is once again underwritten.
What steps are recommended to set up GEIT?
If you want to start setting up a system for GEIT in your own organization, the following steps are recommended:
- Initiate the program. Gaining an understanding of the need to do something (i.e., what triggers the activity of implementing GEIT). As part of the GEIT initiative conceptualization, the organization brainstorms the purpose of the initiative and captures the benefits to the stakeholders.
- Define problems and opportunities. Gaining an understanding of the current state of the enterprise
- Define a road map. Looking at and documenting the organization’s desired state
- Plan the program. Gathering the project team and developing an implementation plan that closes the gap between the current state and the desired state
- Execute the plan. Putting the plan developed in step 4 into action
- Realize benefits. Looking at the plan in place to see if the benefits have been achieved
- Review effectiveness. Returning to the plan to see if it is still performing effectively
For more guidance about how to set up a Governance of Enterprise IT in your organization, it is highly recommended to attend the COBIT 5 Implementation course.