IT departments have significantly changed during the last couple of decades. In the past, we saw that many IT departments were left to devise and develop their own strategies for coming periods and years. This was because business leaders weren’t well versed with the ever-changing techno babble mentioned by IT heads and because the IT department wasn’t seen as strategic and as important to the overall development and strategic goals of the organization. However, changing requirements and complications have meant that IT departments require stringent management.
Perhaps the biggest point of concern and frustration for both IT management teams and business executives is the continuous inflow of complex projects and project requests that come with impossible requirements.
In this article, we take a look at some of the key IT governance and management strategies that organizations can follow in the workplace today. Stay with us to develop better tech prowess.
Managing IT Governance
Many IT executives have failed to monitor IT governance due to the regular inflow of projects with ridiculous requirements. The constant pressure to meet short deadlines on projects while ensuring the fluid flow of routine operations can seriously dent organizational reserves. This process can become impossible if the IT department lacks enough members and personnel.
This disconnect between the IT department and the management of projects often comes through a lack of proper IT governance in an organization. IT governance is best defined as the practices businesses follow to capture, publish and regularly review all of the project requests initiated by the IT department. IT governance is achieved through regular meetings with business stakeholders, including the top management and department leaders. IT managers should provide a detailed list of all current IT obligations in this meeting, along with a list of all future projects that need to be addressed soon.
During an IT governance meeting, the top management in the organization can collectively sit together to review the obligations of the IT department and set priorities for the future. If it deems necessary, the organization will redirect the key company IT resources to a new project that is known to be of a higher priority.
This ensures better IT management and ensures that all business leaders and stakeholders are better informed of the obligations undertaken by the IT department and how it is fulfilling them. Additionally, business leaders will also know of the likely timeframe for completing IT projects, the reasons behind re-prioritization, the inability to deliver solutions, the need for more advanced IT solutions, and other IT requirements.
Good IT governance allows IT leadership teams to have a better understanding and a clear direction of how all IT resources are to be utilized in the future. This evaluation of priorities will help set a clear direction for the future and reduce the burden and stress levels exerted on IT teams.
Manage and Mitigate Electronic Risk
Information security and cyberattack management is a hot topic in most IT departments and IT firms today. As cases of identity theft, data loss, hacking and malware viruses continue to infiltrate businesses, organizations of all sizes have come to realize this as a common enemy, especially because of the bad reputation and the negative light such an attack sheds on affected companies.
The risk of data attacks, along with the increase in regulatory requirements for companies located in multiple industries, data protection laws for most global jurisdictions and the strict requirement of credit card providers, has brought attention towards data protection and cybersecurity.
Information security is an important part of IT management today and deals with measuring, identifying and managing risks related to the integrity, confidentiality and availability of IT assets to a required level. Executives should come together here and identify their role to advise and educate every member of the IT team and the management team. Security professionals can be hired to educate teams and arm organizations with the technology and the information they need to minimize the chances of such attacks in the long run.
Your organization’s security program should ideally be based on a stringent framework, including a set of documented baselines to influence risk decisions.
- Organizations can use multiple frameworks here. However, the best approach to adapt here is to realize the most common framework in your industry, as it aligns with the regulatory and legal compliance of your business environment.
- Conduct a risk assessment to strategically analyze and identify the weaknesses of your organization.
- Once you identify weaknesses, you should work on an action plan and address items that deserve high priority.
Endpoint security should also be ensured, as endpoints are most susceptible to data thefts and threats. Endpoints include PCs, laptops, tablets, and other smartphones used by employees in your organization to access the company’s ERP systems.
Measure IT Performance for Key IT Governance and Management Strategies
IT plans for the future can be set by measuring IT performance and working on them to achieve systematic growth. If your organization makes a hefty investment in Information Technology, it does make sense for you to periodically measure the returns on the investment and evaluate the value it brings within your organization. This is, however, easier said than done.
Most organizations today would agree that perhaps the biggest indicator of IT performance today is uptime. Uptime is usually a measure of just how much time systems are up online to support and recognize business transactions. However, organizations and IT managers need to realize that IT systems need regularly planned downtimes for patching, upgrades, and general maintenance. Besides systematic downtimes for system maintenance, your business applications should be up and running.
Another way to measure IT progress is to check the way they’re working on key projects. IT governance meetings—outlined above—can help check whether milestone dates are being consistently achieved or if the department is slacking in areas that require constant attention.
If you have an IT helpline, you can measure the efficacy and the general benefits of this helpline through the following ways:
- The number of calls made to your helpline each month.
- The number of calls resolved by the helpline without being escalated and handed over to another department.
- The average wait time for consumers before a call is answered.
- The number of abandoned calls before someone picks up and answers.
The steps mentioned in this article will help improve IT governance and will take your organization towards a more refined state of governance. Contact us for Key IT Governance and Management Strategies.
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