Behind the Scenes Part 1: Your Organization’s IT Governance & Service Management

April 18, 2017 Posted By Jon Sturm

Good IT governance isn’t about checking boxes or finding someone to point fingers at when something goes wrong. It takes an organizational culture shift where everyone knows what it is, why it is important, their role in it, and how they help or hinder good governance. There will always be room for improvement. Top-down, bottom-up, middle-out approaches can only get you so far. IT governance can only be successfully addressed organizationally and holistically otherwise there will be gaps.

These gaps are where:

  1. Security flaws are exploited
  2. Process non-compliance voids happen
  3. Time-consuming and costly R&D happen
  4. Unnecessary costs preclude investment, innovation, and growth

No one has time to deal with all of that!

There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of your IT governance but each meets different needs. There is no one size fits all approach, and many companies confuse the purpose of their approaches in achieving effective governance. Good governance means that you know what you intend to achieve through IT services and that these goals are being achieved efficiently and effectively. Service management supports and feeds into that by focusing on the five stages of IT services: strategy, design, transition, operation, and continual improvement. Governance, steering control, and tactical execution in organizations run by projects or heavily controlled by regulatory requirements can result in a governance facade. This is not to detract from the importance of quality, control, or execution in any way. The first step to any problem is admitting you have one. Acknowledge the differences in governance to separate and analyze them and then begin to effectively manage them.

IT Governance seeks to create value from the use of IT services, while service management is central to the tactical execution lifecycle of IT services. When IT services are not governed appropriately they cannot be tightly linked back to value creation through either revenue generation or cost savings. Without good data, there are no good business decisions being made, only uninformed opinions. Accurate, meaningful, authentic, and objective data is the backbone to information, knowledge, and wisdom. Bad data leads to misinformation, misunderstanding, and in some cases, even defiant ignorance. That’s no way to lead, transform, or grow an organization. Governance depends on good data at all levels. Even the greatest dashboard, if built upon bad data is useless.

Business leaders want and need good data at their fingertips to remain nimble, competitive, and growing. SmartIT is working to enable and empower good IT governance through a special recipe which brings together good and best practices from industry recognized frameworks and methodologies and organizational change. It is achieved by creating and improving transparency and trust; delegating responsibility and accountability to the right levels of the organization for action; and by creating a sense of urgency and call to actions for your entire team.

  1. Define what is important and why, then prioritize based on business value.
  2. Assess the accuracy, integrity, and authenticity of data and data sources.
  3. Build a roadmap based on highest value with the fastest returns first.
  4. Take an iterative approach to deliver short-term wins. Shipped is better than perfect.
  5. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of change. You cannot improve what you don’t measure.
  6. Lather, rinse, and repeat..

Your organization may need to implement and adopt approaches for an IT governance and service management structure or might need to adapt and improve your current IT governance and service management. SmartIT can help! Read about several IT governance tools your organization should consider in the next blog, “Behind the Scenes Part 2: IT Governance & Service Management Approaches.”

About the Author:

Jon Sturm is the Client Services Director for ADM with SmartIT. He has over 20 years in IT, management, leadership, and consulting, specializing in application managed services, outsourcing, IT service management, and organizational change. He has a passion for continually improving and maturing IT services. Prior to joining SmartIT, he spent 17 years with a global consulting services firm; helping clients meet and exceed application service objectives and solve complex organizational challenges.