IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance


June 3, 2010  7:01 PM

Not-for-profit Value Delivery – Part I



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

As with links in a metal chain hoisting precious cargo, ensuring appropriate IT tensile strength for the organizational environment is important to achieving entity objectives. Nevertheless, considering that acquiring and maintaining IT resources have costs, IT assets must produce benefits from design until retirement to justify expenditures. Unfortunately, without adequate governance, too much tends to be promised by the IT organization and contracted third party providers; while too much is assumed by the end-user community. Where the aforementioned circumstances exist, there is the potential for bilateral misunderstandings, mismanagement of resources, poor performance, and/or misalignment of results that invariably reduce IT value delivery.

May 31, 2010  8:26 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part VIII



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Strategic design is generally developed in sequential order — whether or not management has a formal or informal strategic planning system. To gain an understanding of the processes and to facilitate analysis for ensuring IT service delivery alignment with the entity’s strategic drive, each phase must be appraised in relationship to available resources. Through this assessment, IT effectiveness and efficiency can be considered in the proper perspective for achieving defined entity objectives. With deployment of effective not-for-profit IT governance, once management has determined a strategic objective, courses of action will be directed toward the desired end in an efficient manner. Therefore, it can be said that IT effectiveness is doing the right thing, while IT efficiency is doing things right.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 27, 2010  7:03 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part VII



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Where optimal value to customers is an adopted strategic objective, depending on managerial acumen, IT can create a service advantage when acquired, designed, developed and/or deployed to provide exceptional functionality, convenience and reliability. Achieving the “optimal value to customers” objective through IT is not without risks, however. To address potential operational risks associated with pursuing this objective, a cross-organizational committee should exist with the authority to develop, implement, and monitor the entity and IT strategic plans for objectives and goals synchronization. Regarding responsibility assignment for execution, once strategic plans are approved, executive management must ensure that entity direction is transformed into the right IT service and support deployments.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 24, 2010  5:39 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part VI



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Controls are the activities increasing certainty that plans are achieving the desired objective. The dispersed nature of IT limits the effectiveness of many traditional controls. Without deployment of effective IT governance, often the IT department is not involved in the decision-making and approval-authorization process. Correspondingly, problems arise as to: who enforces standards, how management is assured that their intentions are carried out and how much autonomy users should have. With deployment of effective IT governance, IT department participation in the decision-making process is foundational and deployment decisions are supported by proper delegation of authority to individuals responsible for acquiring, implementing, utilizing, maintaining as well as retiring IT. Furthermore, with deployment of effective IT governance, performance monitoring is enabled to ensure strategic alignment is earnestly pursued by entity personnel.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 20, 2010  4:56 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part V



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity, Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Managers of not-for-profit organizational formations should continual seek conformation that IT is delivering reliable services supporting the entity’s strategic design for accomplishing adopted objectives. Strategic alignment is ensured when appropriate controls are deployed under an effective IT governance program. The essence of control is feedback information on the results of action by management. This feedback information normally addresses measurement, matching, and regulation of designed processes. Control can be precise, imprecise, formal, informal, good or bad. Nonetheless, control has two key aspects: performance measurement against a standard and performance correction (if necessary) considering that measurement. A successful control system is one that institutes corrections before process deviations become serious.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 17, 2010  6:36 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part IV



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Lack of transparency in objectives will lead to uncertainty in planning, structuring, and staffing an entity and in developing an information and communication control system to measure the effectiveness of management decisions. The mission and purpose of all entities, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, must be clearly defined and strategically aligned with every department supporting the organizational formation. Within this context, it has been stated that all entities have a hierarchy of objectives which effectively determine priorities for investment decisions and management actions. At a policy level, these objectives are usually broadly stated and become embodied in the strategic design of the entity. Basic not-for-profit objectives provide the initial guidelines and the unifying force that directs all action as well as enables a baseline for control and accountability through policies.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 13, 2010  5:17 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part III



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

The primary task of management is to effectively and efficiently accomplish organizational goals linked to the entity’s overall objectives. Effectiveness refers to the degree to which the goal or objective is achieved. Efficiency refers to maximizing output for a given input. In practice, effectiveness is of prime importance and efficiency may be secondary, since tradeoffs are frequently made between the two. Yet, entities usually have multiple objectives that are often contradictory. For example, the objective for value realization and the objective for maximizing service delivery could be mutually exclusive within a given year because expense might hamper, or preclude, service.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 10, 2010  6:36 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part II



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Entity strategic plans are derived from entity objectives. Consequently, as a foundational justification for ensuring IT governance deployment, an indifferent attitude toward IT strategic alignment with the entity’s strategic plans can have a detrimental impact on achieving the entity’s objectives. A control environment factor that can contribute to IT strategic alignment apathy is lack of awareness. Specifically, when business unit managers possess unrestricted authority to acquire their own systems, they often are infected with myopia. In other words, whether the selected technology will meet entity-wide needs is frequently overlooked since process owners commonly only consider their areas of responsibility when requesting resources. This type of managerial focus often results in configurations that do not contribute to meeting entity-wide objectives; do not enable connectivity to external access points; or cannot share services with other internal departments.

View Part I of the Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment series here


May 6, 2010  6:24 PM

Not-for-profit Strategic Alignment – Part I



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, ICT, IT Service Management, ITG, ITSM, Performance Measurement, Strategic Planning, Value Delivery

Inasmuch as having a sound plan is vital to accomplishing an entity’s mission, developing a strategically aligned information and communication plan is vital to achieving the entity’s objectives for reliability, confidentiality, integrity, availability, and compliance. Organizationally, a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan is typically crucial to defining information sharing and to authorizing creation as well as utilization of datum appropriate for the operating environment. In many cases, IT is critical to a not-for-profit’s success in providing timely responses to adverse circumstances. Therefore, ensuring a not-for-profit strategic plan is designed that encompasses IT considerations and IT is aligned with the entity’s objectives enables effective and efficient management.


May 3, 2010  4:52 PM

Achieving Not-for-profit Organizational Objectives through IT Governance Deployment – Part VIII



Posted by: Robert Davis
Educational Institutions, Enterprise Governance, Entity Governance, Governance Tree, Government Agencies, Information and Communication Technology, IT Service Management, Non-profit, Not-for-profit, Risk Assessment, Risk Management, Value Delivery

Generally, IT governance deployment enables ensuring the entity’s technology assets and the encoded information contained within are: available, credible, and secure. A well-managed IT governance program includes robust plans, organization, objectives, goals, monitoring, and continuous improvement. Yet, many not-for-profit entities have not directly considered IT governance as a solution for sustaining strategic alignment, value delivery, and risk management. Prescriptively, to remedy value realization, service delivery, processing efficiency and political return gaps, tailored IT governance methodologies should be applied to the administration and practice of not-for-profit ITSM — since they typically can aid in enhancing accountability, transparency and public engagement (customer service).

View Part I of the Achieving Not-for-profit Organizational Objectives through IT Governance Deployment series here


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