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Are Your IT and Strategic Business Goals Aligned?

By Alexander Zapata, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, COBIT 5 Implementation and Assessor, ISO 22301 LI, ISO 27001 and Foundations, PMP

COBIT Focus | 9 May 2016

Developing and using models to help represent relationships between business strategy and IT is an effective method to show the strategic effect of IT within the enterprise. As more and more business commerce becomes automated, the growing impact of IT on business strategy, such as the development of a sustained competitive advantage in a highly connected world, becomes increasingly evident.


Alignment of IT and business strategies is paramount for achieving and maintaining a leadership position. Today, the elements that differentiate one successful organization from another are difficult to observe and measure as the power of imitation levels the playing field, making a business-driven, information-centric and technology-supported strategy imperative.


How Does COBIT 5 Contribute to the Alignment of Goals?

COBIT 5 is an integrated framework that facilitates the achievement of the business’s strategic goals and solidifies value through an effective IT governance and management approach.


COBIT 5 provides for the governance and management of enterprise IT (GEIT) in a holistic way for the whole organization, taking into account the needs of business and functional area stakeholders and driving the business´s strategic goals in an end-to-end fashion throughout the enterprise. Because COBIT 5 aims to help organizations achieve balance in financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth goal sets, the framework may be applied to public, private or nonprofit organizations.


Upon adopting COBIT 5, the organization will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses associated with its IT processes and environment. This, in turn, will identify areas where processes can be optimized to better support the organization’s goals and provide for safer, more dependable operations. Similarly, the organization will be able to ensure that IT has the correct direction, i.e., alignment with strategic business goals.


Implementation Stages

A successful strategy for implementing COBIT 5 always begins with identifying the drivers for developing the organization’s goals and the primary results the organization would like to achieve, whether it be realizing the benefits of a strategy or optimizing risk or resources. Once this is understood, an implementation of COBIT 5 should consider the stages shown in figure 1.


Figure 1—COBIT 5 Implementation Stages

Source: A. Zapata. Reprinted with permission.


ISACA provides some related COBIT 5 materials that can be used to obtain additional references to this suggested strategy, including the COBIT 5 Framework, COBIT 5: Enabling Processes, COBIT 5 Process Assessment Model (PAM): Using COBIT 5 and COBIT Self-Assessment Guide: Using COBIT 5.


Conclusion

COBIT 5 provides a powerful framework for the identification of enterprise goals. It also enables each critical process to be directly aligned to achievement of these goals in a way that can be easily measured and communicated. By applying the proven and efficient implementation strategy suggested, any organization can understand how effectively it is achieving these goals and ensure transparency across all functional areas.


Alexander Zapata, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, COBIT 5 Implementation and Assessor, ISO 22301 LI, ISO 27001 and Foundations, PMP

Is an international consultant in IT governance and IT improvement with experience in Mexico, Colombia, Panama and Peru. He is also an expert instructor and COBIT 5 Accredited Trainer. He can be reached at azapatacolombia@yahoo.com.

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