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Governance is a formal framework which provides a structure for an organization to ensure that there is a means for an organization to establish direction and control. All the investment made by the organization supports business objectives and creates value.
IT governance comprises of processes, tools, and methodologies which enable an organization to ensure the alignment of business strategy & goals with an IT service (services), IT Infrastructure and the environment. IT governance complements an organization by enabling it to achieve its goals and objectives, through this alignment.
To achieve this, it is required to establish a formal governing structure, both at organization level& at IT level. That is, an IT governance is an integral part of overall enterprise governance. Through a formally established framework, an organization can achieve its strategies and goals, by producing measurable results.
Figure 25: Governance Model for IT Service Management (ITSM)
IT governance provides the set of policies, rules and regulations, which defines and ensures an effective, efficient, valuable, controlled IT operation of an IT department. IT Governance also helps in evaluating the performance of IT and its contribution to the business and business growth.
ITIL4 complements COBIT, the IT governance framework, by aligning to it. By embracing such frameworks, an organization can comply with regulatory requirements.
An Organization embraces a governance structure through which the organization’s direction and control mechanism is established. Governance considers and demonstrates three main activities. That is,
Evaluate focuses on evaluating the organization, its strategy, its portfolios, organizational relationships with other entities and individuals. The governing body ensures the evaluation of the organization regularly to ensure the needs of the stakeholders are met and to keep the organization aligned and in compliance with evolving circumstances in an organizational environment.
Direct refers to the assignment of responsibilities by a governing body, which ensures preparing and implementing strategies and policies for the organization. Strategies focus on setting the directions for all the organizational activities, investment (current & future) etc and also helps in justifying the investment decisions. Policies focus on establishing the guidelines for setting the required (accepted) behaviour across the organization and guides on how to demonstrate those, which are applicable to all the stakeholders like employees, partners, customers, suppliers and all others.
Monitor The organization’s performance is monitored by the governing body on a continual basis. It monitors the performance of the organization, its practices, processes, services & products. By monitoring, the governing body ensures that the performance of the organization is as per the set directions and complying to defined policies.
It evaluates, directs and monitors all the organization’s activities, including those of IT service management. COBIT being the framework which is well acknowledged and adopted, mentions the following processes, which are called as EDM Processes
The objective of these processes is provided below;
The process, “Ensure Governance Framework Setting and Maintenance” ensures;
The process, “Ensure Benefits Delivery” ensures;
The process, “Ensure Risk Optimisation” ensures;
The process, “Ensure Resource Optimisation” ensures;
The process, “Ensure Stakeholder Transparency” ensures;
As Service Value System has multiple components in it and is applied to the entire organization at all levels for one or more products or services. Governance performs at various different layers of the organization. An effective governance throughout the lifecycle i.e. service value system requires effective delegation across different layers.
Figure 26: Governance: An alignment between Corporate Governance and IT Governance
While delegating the organization should retain and ensure alignment with the directions, objectives, goals, vision, priorities of the organization.
As defined in ITIL 4, the various components i.e. the guiding principles & continual improvement have to be applied across the lifecycle of the services and to all components of the service value system, including governance.
Defining and adopting the specific set of principles are necessary for every organization. One of the options is to adopt the principles defined in the best practices like ITIL4. The specific set of principles and guidelines adapted and adopted across the governing body should have the visibility of values, outcomes, outputs, activities and metrics for measuring at all levels aligning to the value of the organization and its stakeholders.
To summarize, in this module we looked at IT Governance, EDM of Governance, Governance Bodies, and Governance in SVS in detail. Governance is done at various layers and effective delegation is critical for success of an Organization.