Making sure your Business Technology Governance is up to scratch!

In the past technology has been controlled by IT departments, but changes in recent times have seen an increasing use of new technology which is not so easy to control. Mobile, Social, Cloud, Analytical Tools and Process Management or CRM software are very often controlled by third parties, which means there is a greater need to install a form of governance that will protect and ensure an organisation maximises the technology it has.

This means senior executives need to revisit their IT governance strategy, understanding the changes and identifying practices that will making governance more effective. Including this as part of a greater Business Technology Governance process.

Most organisations now have a systematic process or portfolio of IT capabilities with applications and repositories that support some form of transactional role, or systems that will engage, building on cloud, mobile usage and large data storage, which in turn focus on people rather than the processes.

Perception has changed

The expectations and attitudes of IT management from Senior Executives has changed with a different perception of what the internal IT department is. They are now more seen as technology suppliers who support applications and an array of devices rather than the traditional IT support manager. This obvious change supports the need for executives to think more about governance, and communicate with IT departments on how they can take greater control over the technology that runs the business.

So if greater control is needed, the first stage is to determine and facilitate executive decisions around technology infrastructure, which is essentially a transformational change in how IT is considered, budgets are spent, and technology is resourced and utilised.

So how to take greater control over IT governance, integrating this further into the business practices

Senior Executives must now buy into the idea that IT advancement is a strategic decision making process which fits into the long-term business strategy. It is not about viewing IT as a necessity, but as an opportunity, so the decision process takes on a much wider role and method of consideration.

Senior Executives need to be more involved in the process of cross department integration. Many large organisations suffer continually with systems that don’t communicate particularly well across departments, and this demonstrates perfectly the need for greater communications and consideration at all levels. The major consideration of course being cross-functional processes being aligned across an entire organisation.

Aligning technology with business goals is probably the most obvious demonstration of why governance should be maintained and communicated across all levels within an organisation. It isn’t just the fact that cross departmental technology may not integrate, it could also be the technology is not fit for purpose, and doesn’t work with the long-term strategic operational and trading plans of the organisation.

This important responsibility to should be aligned with one leader, likely a head of technology with a mandate to continually articulate and communicate requirements across an entire organisation.

So who else is responsible?

Business Technology Governance is ultimately the responsibility of board directors and they are accountable for successes and failures of technology investment. However, the usage of the technology and making systems work across an organisation has to be a delegated process. Extensive training is a prerequisite to making sure accountability is not only with IT leaders and Board Directors, it is also governed by team leaders with a role to making sure the technology is utilised properly, and those people taking some of the responsibility for its success.

BT governance is reliant on many capabilities including decision support, the structures within the organisation, extended company policies, measuring sales and marketing and utilising resources, i.e., skills, budgets and relationships built on providing information. This level of capability requires governance to be managed from the top down of any organisation. Stakeholder requirements are then aligned with the overall internal and external IT provisioning, optimising the capabilities of the IT infrastructure.

Business Technology Governance is now becoming extremely prevalent within an organisation that utilises a lot of diverse internal and external technology. With continued improvements and investment comes more of a requirement to govern the importance of IT from senior executive level downwards, and those that consider BT Governance as an important part of their business strategy will benefit greatly with efficiency and potentially profitability.

Call 7Tech today if you want to improve technology, the level of integration or need help to create greater control over your systems helping you to make more coherent BT Governance decisions in the future!

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