What decisions must be made to ensure effective
management and use of IT?

In the August 7th ITeffectivity Conversation
I introduced the concept of IT Governance and its importance to the effective
management of IT.  

The IT Governance Framework can be applied to
any institution.  IT Governance can
defined as the decision rights and accountability for assuring good behavior in
our use of IT.  It is a framework of
decision rights and oversight that is intended to drive maximum value out of
all information technology investments, minimize risks, use resources
effectively, and assure alignment. 

As
outlined last time, the first step is identifying what decisions need to be made.
Identifying what decisions need to be made will drive the organization to answer
questions such as “How will we use IT to create value for the enterprise.”

The IT Governance Framework proposes that decisions
be driven by answering the following six questions:  

1.    
How will IT create Business
value?

IT Guiding Principles – Clarifying the values and
practices that IT operates against.

2.    
How much and where will we
invest?

IT Portfolio
Management
– Collecting,
evaluating and prioritizing which investments to fund and how much to spend on
IT solutions, including project approvals, justification techniques, and
benefit realization measurements methods.

3.     What
application or services do we need to delivery to enable business capabilities?

Business Applications/Service
Requirements –
Specifying the business need for purchased or internally developed
IS applications and services.

4.    
How will we execute against
the portfolio decisions?

IS Program
Management

Collecting, evaluating and prioritizing the project requests which come to IS
and deliver utilizing the defined project management lifecycle.

5.     What
technical guidelines and standards will we use?

IT
Architecture
Defining roles,
responsibilities and relationships between IS components through policy and
standardization; defining integration and standardization requirements.

6.     How
will we build and delivery shared services effectively and efficiently?

IT Infrastructure
Determine
shared and enabling technology services and systems management processes,
practices and policies.  

These six key decisions are all related and require linking for effective governance.  

Figure 1 arranges these decisions to reflect their critical interdependencies.  For example, IT Principles drive the architecture that leads to the infrastructure design.

Stay tuned
to the next conversation where we will discuss what will guide these decisions.

Conversations
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CIO’s challenge of leading and delivering business solutions with a focus on
effective people, process, and technology management.