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The Importance of IT Governance in an Effective IT Strategy

Will Lidwin
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IT governance programs are gaining in popularity among organizations in all market verticals as they are designed to better align IT resources with the organization’s business strategy. Doing so also helps to convert strategic business goals into achievable IT team projects.

There are many benefits to IT governance. They include ensuring that funding is being used wisely, removing redundancies, better organizational adaptability, reviews to protect data integrity and creating a comprehensive communications plan to share regular updates with staff.

This article is designed to answer initial questions you may have about IT governance and offer guidance about how to implement a program at your organization. This will include answers to the following questions:

  • What is IT governance?
  • Why is IT governance important?
  • What is the IT governance process?
  • How can I maximize buy-in for an IT governance program?
  • Which framework should I use for my IT governance program? 

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What is IT Governance?

IT governance forms the framework designed to ensure IT resources are used appropriately to mitigate security risks, increase accountability and safeguard compliance according to industry laws and regulations. Some of the most well-known regulations governing the protection of confidential information are the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA and FERPA.

Looking at the organization as a whole, IT governance factors in the needs of all stakeholders involved, including staff at all levels of the organization and customers. It is a program comprised of best practices and controls. In fact, organizations often start with a standardized framework and tailor it to support their business objectives and goals. 

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Why is IT Governance Important?  

IT governance creates a roadmap to show what your IT team needs to do in order to assist other parts of your organization in meeting their objectives and driving organizational growth. By following this roadmap, an organization will produce measurable data that can be used to show progress toward organizational goals.

In a nutshell, IT governance looks at how IT resources can be best used to create value for the organization, both now and into the future.

What is the IT Governance Process?

IT governance typically has a simplified structure in smaller organizations and a more detailed structure in larger organizations. However any organization, especially those that need to comply with financial and/or data accountability regulations, should consider implementing an IT governance program.

The IT governance process focuses on the major components of IT and harmonizes them into one guiding program. However, the process of IT governance isn’t about just forming a program. It’s also about working the program and fine tuning it, when necessary.

The parts to consider in an IT governance process are as follows:

  • IT architecture governance guides how new technologies will be evaluated for possible organizational inclusion.
  • IT process governance directs the development, management and support of IT processes in use.
  • Enterprise IT governance focuses on hardware and software that will be used to support the entire organization.
  • Product development governance is necessary for organizations who produce their own IT products to verify that the software agrees with the organization’s evolving objectives and goals.

How Can I Maximize Buy-In for an IT Governance Program?

Obtaining executive sponsorship for your IT governance program is a great start. The executive sponsoring your program will help you select cross-departmental team members for your committee and assist in creating buy-in through all levels of the organization. In addition, having a communication plan with updates sent regularly to staff about program milestones and next steps, will keep everyone involved and excited for your program.

Which Framework Should I Use for my IT Governance Program?

There are multiple, well-known IT governance program frameworks to choose from. Be sure to have your committee evaluate several and select the one that best fits your organization and its goals. 


The most widely used IT governance framework is the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT). Updated in 2019, COBIT defines the components to build and sustain a governance system. It also includes a focus on enterprise IT governance which is primarily concerned with value delivery from digital transformation and the mitigation of business risk that results from digital transformation. Successful adoption of COBIT includes the three outcomes of benefits realization, risk optimization and resource optimization. This framework is aimed at the entire enterprise, not just the IT department and encompasses all organizational technology and information processing regardless of where this happens within the enterprise.

Other commonly used frameworks include:

  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – A set of best practices on the ‘hows’ of managing and controlling IT service operations.
  • Committee of Sponsoring Organizations for the Treadway Commission (COSO) – This model concentrates on enterprise risk management and fraud deterrence.
  • Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) – Uses a scale of 1 to 5 to gauge an organization’s performance, quality and profitability maturity level.
  • Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR) – This model is relatively new and focuses on cybersecurity and operational risk.  
  • ISO/IEC 27002 – Last revised in 2022, this standard provides best practice recommendations on information security controls. 

IT Governance Tailored for Your Organization

Elevity is here to do the research for you to help find the IT governance solution that best fits the needs of your organization. Our virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) and IT Strategy services will be your advocate to tailor an IT governance program that meets your organization’s business objectives today and will help to meet your technology goals for future growth and expansion.  
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