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Information Technology Handbook

1.2 Governance Structure

Print friendly Version date January 8, 2012

Information Technology can be leveraged to advance the organization and to enable achievement of business goals. To best advance the organization’s priorities, there is the need for greater accountability for decision-making around the use of IT in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Effective IT governance is the prescribed relationship between the IT organization and its customers through established operational processes of communication and decision making. Only through these prescribed relationships and processes will replicable and predictable alignment of resources to the organizational goals be achieved. A governance structure should be established and function appropriately to foster partnership of business and IT leadership.

Typically an effective IT governance framework includes defining organizational structures (reporting relationships, advisory committees, etc.) , processes, leadership, roles, responsibilities, and other attributes to ensure that the organization’s IT investments are aligned and delivered in accordance with established strategies and objectives.

Enterprise governance and IT governance should be strategically linked, leveraging technology and organizational resources to increase the competitive advantage of the enterprise. IT governance activities should also be integrated with the enterprise governance process.

1.2.1 Shared Governance Framework

The IT governance process should be defined, established, and aligned with the overall organization governance and control environment. The framework is a shared governance model and should be founded on service management principles where all stakeholders (other CxOs) are identified and participate actively in processes that prioritize how IT resources are allocated for the organization’s maximum benefit, and these stakeholders are collectively engaged in the shared responsibility of assuring that resources are aligned with needs.

Without the collective participation and interchange among the stakeholders about the priorities for the IT organization, customers relinquish control to the CIO by putting him/her in the position of making decisions on the priorities of where to assign resources. When resources are plenty and there is no competition among customers with regard to what gets done first, this might not be a problem. However, when demand outpaces supply, the collective group needs to assist with the prioritization across the institution.


1.2.2 Strategic Alignment

The framework will lead to the collective understanding of how IT resources are deployed as well as the potential opportunities for their use. This information can then be used to determine the best use of these resources for the maximum institutional benefit. Priorities should be informed by not only the operational requisites, but also by organizational strategic plan and goals using a disciplined approach to portfolio, program, and project management. The organization must have a methodology and set of practices to demonstrate prioritization of IT services and initiatives.


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