COBIT is an acronym for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. It is a framework for Information Technology Governance and Management. It aims at evaluating existing business processes related to IT of a firm in order to identify the gaps and improve the processes further to strengthen data security in an organisation. COBIT has had many versions and variations in the past and each iteration brings something more useful for the Information Technology world. Following are the business benefits an organisation planning to implement COBIT can realise.
This is one of the strategic benefits of using COBIT in an organisation. COBIT helps to align IT goals of an organisation with strategic goals set for review purpose. This is especially true for larger organisations. Managing IT of an organisation is in a way managing an organisation in itself and for larger organisation, processes dependent on IT are many. Hence using COBIT can help an organisation identity and close gaps that may be present between the targets and goals set for an organisation and its Information Technology department.
A key benefit or features of COBIT is implementing IT Governance standard across the organisation. Using COBIT ensures that risk related to IT is minimised and effective controls and measures are put in place to ensure that all processes are monitored. Its effectiveness is attributed to the fact that the end-to-end business cycle is evaluated, monitored and controlled giving holistic governance to the IT organisation implementing COBIT.
COBIT principles are globally accepted and help improve efficiency and effectiveness using its tools and techniques. It is also applicable on all industries and sectors irrespective of size. So if an organisation plans to expand, the principles of governance and control will still remain relevant. Same is applicable for an organisation planning to shrink. Hence the methodologies remain effective irrespective of growth or otherwise.
Audit experts for IT acknowledge that the principles laid down by COBIT helps organisations improve their information security. They also refer the tools of COBIT to evaluate IT governance for organisations. Being COBIT compliant hence can really benefit an organisation when auditors visit to check for compliance. Already having implemented COBIT can reduce last minute setup of policies and procedures for a planned or unplanned auditor check.
Implementing COBIT also ensures that your organisation adheres to industry standards. This in turn benefits all the internal and external stakeholders of the firm. Internal in the sense that employees learn about industry benchmarks and use them to deliver their work. This leads to employee growth and greater efficiency at work. External stakeholders like clients and vendors also benefit from IT policies for data security and data quality. This leads to greater stakeholder satisfaction and improved overall organisational efficiency by adopting the industry standards set by COBIT.
To summarise, COBIT and its tools can deliver benefits that every organisation – big or small aspires to achieve. Being strategic in goals and successfully using the Information Technology department as leverage can be very useful. Gaps can be minimised and effective alignment of goals can be introduced to reap the rewards. Information Technology governance is also extremely critical for clients as they would not want to lose their sensitive information. Proper controls and measures from COBIT can help implement relevant processes to ensure data security. Audit clearance is also crucial to keep winning those contacts which are critical for a firm to remain in business. Industry-standard adhering organisations always across better on RFPs. COBIT can indeed help organisation improve their market value.
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