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COBIT vs TOGAF - Which One is Better? in 2024

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22nd Dec, 2023
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    COBIT vs TOGAF - Which One is Better? in 2024

    Today, there are a lot of standards and frameworks in Information Technology (IT) management. Each of these standards and frameworks is designed to help businesses differently. They help companies save time, money, and resources by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. These frameworks also provide specific recommendations for improving IT management. Are you wondering what the differences between COBIT and TOGAF are and which one you should choose for your business? We’ll go over what each framework stands for, where they are used most often, and examples of when you might choose one over the other. 

    Both COBIT and TOGAF are standards for IT governance and enterprise architecture. They are also often used interchangeably as the two most popular frameworks for management and EA. But which is better? Let’s take a closer look at what they offer, their pros and cons, and their ideal uses.

    You can even join the TOGAF certification online courses to get more information about TOGAF in detail. 

    What is COBIT? (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies)

    COBIT stands for the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies. It is a framework many businesses use to help them achieve better control over their information and technology. COBIT is a best practice framework that can be applied to many different industries, even those that don’t deal with IT. The framework focuses on five key areas: Planning and Organization, Architecture, Governance, Risk Management, and Performance Management. Each of these areas has its objectives, which helps businesses understand where they are currently and where they need to be. 

    What is TOGAF? (The Open Group Architecture Framework) 

    TOGAF stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework. Like COBIT, TOGAF is a framework that helps businesses manage their IT operations better. The TOGAF framework was created in 1996 when many companies had to modernize their technology to keep up with the digital revolution. TOGAF focuses on IT architecture, and the framework provides a model for organizing IT to achieve greater efficiency. The model has been updated over the years, and the current version has become more of an all-encompassing standard. 

    TOGAF has outlined a set of 21 high-quality architecture principles. You should keep a few things in mind about the TOGAF principles. Firstly, a TOGAF principle is split into four parts. Every TOGAF principle includes a: Name - simple, precise, and memorable. A TOGAF principle consists of a statement usually one sentence long. It explains why the principle is important and how it will benefit the company. The rationale describes why the principle is important and how it will help the company. 

    Core Distinctions: COBIT vs. TOGAF

    As noted, both frameworks focus on improving IT management and architecture. However, there are several key differences between the two. First, the frameworks focus on different things: COBIT focuses on five key areas: Planning and Organization, Architecture, Governance, Risk Management, and Performance Management. In contrast, TOGAF concentrates solely on architecture. Second, each framework uses different methods to help businesses improve IT management. COBIT uses a top-down approach where enterprises start with the desired outcomes and work their way back to the current state. TOGAF uses a bottom-up approach where businesses begin with the current state and work their way up to the desired outcomes. 

    Difference Between COBIT vs TOGAF 

    Terms 

    COBIT 

    TOGAF 

    Definition 

    COBIT Framework provides an international standard for controlling information technology by providing a framework and control of IT that may be accepted and employed worldwide. 

    The architecture of a corporate information system is shaped primarily by eight phases of the TOGAF standard. These phases are key in the design and construction of an IT system. 

    Scope 

    It focuses narrowly on security, risk management, and governance. 

    TOGAF helps organizations implement software technology in a structured and organized way, with a focus on governance and meeting business objectives 

    Approach 

    COBIT uses a top-down approach where businesses start with the desired outcomes and work their way back to the current state. 

    TOGAF uses a bottom-up approach where businesses start with the current state and work their way up to the desired outcomes 

    Objectives 

    COBIT addresses three main business challenges in IT regulatory compliance, risk management, and IT alignment with organizational goals by providing management objectives. 

    TOGAF is a structured method that minimizes errors, maintains timetables, stays on budget, and connects IT with business units to produce high-quality business results, is based on the TOGAF method. 

    Similarities Between COBIT versus TOGAF  

    COBIT 

    TOGAF 

    The COBIT framework was developed by Peter F. Drucker 

    The TOGAF framework was developed by Peter F. Drucker 

    It is designed to help organizations keep track of their IT operations. 

    It is designed to help organizations keep track of their IT operations. 

    COBIT framework is intended for use by both C-level executives and IT professionals. 

    The TOGAF framework can also be C-level executives and IT professionals. 

    This framework is open standard developed collaboratively by the community, which makes it easy for companies to adopt one framework or build upon existing features of another framework. 

    Like COBIT, TOGAF also helps businesses update the existing framework to meet their IT goals. 

    Components of TOGAF and COBIT

    COBIT 2024 is compatible with ITIL, TOGAF, and CMMI. COBIT 2024 is an excellent choice for creating an umbrella framework to unify all company processes. It addresses all of the technological and security trends. In general, COBIT 2024 was designed so that businesses have more flexibility when planning their IT governance strategy to suit their needs. It was created to assist companies in developing and connecting their business and IT objectives.

    It establishes several interconnections between the IT division and the rest of the firm to bridge the gap. It considers security, risk management, and data governance more prominently than other frameworks. Although COBIT integrates business processes and technology like TOGAF, it is more focused on data security than other frameworks. COBIT is more than a framework for organizing all business processes and handling IT. It was specifically designed to deal with IT risks that could harm the company.

    COBIT 2024 introduces all the key elements of COBIT and the framework's overall structure. It also includes the 40 governance and management objectives that COBIT helps companies achieve. Furthermore, COBIT 2024 provides businesses with a design manual to help them build an IT governance system uniquely tailored to their needs and a procedure for implementing the strategies once they are developed.

    TOGAF provides guidelines that assist companies in developing business strategies and planning to govern their processes. TOGAF was created to offer four domains in information technology architecture and business strategy. It also includes a blueprint for designing and deploying various systems to align with the company's objectives. TOGAF provides companies with the capability to store and manage their data and define and maintain the company's enterprise architecture. TOGAF provides companies with a framework for managing and maintaining all of the enterprise architecture. It also simplifies infrastructure management. A partitioning component in TOGAF 9 helps to split up specific architectures.

    TOGAF 9 has a wide variety of elements that may be utilized as a reference for enterprise-wide architecture for all pertinent projects, ranging from ideas to designs to processes and frameworks that help the project reach its finish point more efficiently. TOGAF 9 also provides various rules and procedures for implementing the organization's framework and managing certain security issues.

    Certifications for COBIT and TOGAF

    COBIT and TOGAF are standards for governance, risk, and compliance frameworks. There are many IT service management training online that provide guidance on implementing a governance model that is aligned with your organization's goals.

    There are three levels of certification 

    1.  COBIT v4: An approved certification process for COBIT v4 certified professional services organizations, where the company has demonstrated that it understands the requirements of one or more components of the COBIT framework as well as other key elements of IT governance such as security, compliance, performance management, and data management.
    2.  TOGAF IF-M v7 and TOGAF IF-M v8: Certifications for professionals who have demonstrated they understand key aspects of IT governance such as risk management, data protection, security, and compliance.

    Enroll in our comprehensive online PMP prep course to enhance your project management skills and earn certification. Reach new heights in your career and become a master of project management!

    A Real-life Example to Make It Simple

    Now that we’ve clarified the difference between TOGAF and COBIT, let’s take a look at an example of how these methods are applied in real life. In our example, we’ll imagine a company known as Designogram Group, which specializes in international logistics in New Zealand and Australia and employs 10,000 people. They have 20 locations, and they used to be one of the most important companies in their industry. As a result of several issues, they are now in a terrible predicament. 

    How COBIT helps

    Here are some of the problems the company is facing and how COBIT helps them resolve these challenges: 

    • The IT organization hasn’t been updated in a long time and isn’t aligned to business objectives. COBIT helps the company to devise an actionable plan that restructures the IT division to achieve enterprise goals. 
    • The company does not meet most partner benchmarks. COBIT can help the company prepare successfully for future audits since it is an audit framework. 

    How TOGAF helps

    These are some of the challenges that TOGAF helps the company overcome: 

    • The IT department of the enterprise often falters at the simplest of tasks, including risk management and compliance. TOGAF helps reduce such errors since it focuses on strengthening the IT architecture of the company. 

    Conclusion

    There are a lot of standards and frameworks in Information Technology (IT) management. Each of these frameworks is designed to help businesses in different ways. COBIT focuses on planning and organization, architecture, governance, risk management, and performance management. In contrast, TOGAF lays emphasis on architecture. A business takes into consideration its bigger picture IT goals while deciding which framework to adopt. 

    If you want to learn more about how the TOGAF framework is implemented, KnowledgeHut’s TOGAF certification online courses are your best bet.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Is COBIT widely used?

    Of the many IT framework firms, COBIT is the most widely used, with at least 95% of organizations employing it to assist with their IT governance and information management. 

    2What is the latest COBIT version?

    COBIT 2019 was released in 2018. COBIT 5 was published in 2012 and was updated to COBIT 2019 to incorporate new technology and business trends in information and technology (I&T). 

    3Is COBIT a cybersecurity framework?

    Yes, COBIT is a cybersecurity framework. 


    4How can TOGAF benefit an organization?

    Enterprise infrastructure development is time- and cost-effective by utilizing cloud-based infrastructure. 

    5How do you measure success in TOGAF?

    TOGAF's effectiveness is based on its execution. Whether you pass the exam or not, TOGAF's relevance relies on how you connect it with the real world. In today's digital transformation era, TOGAF learning how to use it properly and integrate it with business, data application, and technology is straightforward.

    Profile

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan

    Consultant

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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