IT governance is a critical initiative for your entire organisation. However, responsibility for the implementation and maintenance is delegated to the IT department. Often as organisational budgets are developed, insufficient funds are provided to the IT department. This prevents IT from providing the organisation with robust IT Governance systems.
In many organisations, the IT budget is regarded as a cost centre, rather than enabling the organisation. Something that adds little value and diverts budget from other more ‘deserving’ or ‘important’ areas.
The IT budget is the critical tool in protecting an organisation’s IT governance.
Effective IT governance supports the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. Establishing and valuing IT governance is the responsibility of boards and leadership. Implementation and maintenance is delegated to the IT department and IT Manager.
Central to the allocation of correct funding is understanding the role of IT in an organisation, the role of the IT budget and how together they roll up to protect IT governance.
The specifics of IT vary between organisations. At heart, IT provides the information systems that support service delivery – whatever that service might be. It is an investment in the organisation’s ability to do its ‘job’.
How long could your organisation operate without email? Without critical software? Without the ability to access information or respond to stakeholder requirements?
Accordingly, the IT budget reflects the investment (and prioritisation of that investment) in support of the organisation’s objectives – in support of doing its job. An objective for all organisations is effective governance. A big part of discharging governance obligations is making appropriate, considered investment in the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems.
Other departments will fight for precious budget allocations. They will view giving up their budget to IT as a ‘loss’. It is important for IT to ensure that both leadership and department heads understand the direct link between the IT budget and governance outcomes. And how IT governance enables every part of the organisation to achieve its objectives.
It might be a pipedream to think that a department head will happily give up budget to support initiatives through IT. Nonetheless, providing a compelling rationale to support achieving IT governance is one of the most valuable services an IT department can provide to an organisation.
In next week’s blog, we will look at how to build governance investment into the IT budget and advocate effectively for increases to that investment over time.
Until then, stay safe.