ISACA member Brian Barnier, CGEIT, CRISC, shares his thoughts on COBIT 5 in today’s Q&A.
Q: You recently recorded a video on avoiding implementation problems. Is COBIT 5 difficult to implement? What is needed to get more business benefit?
A: COBIT is a big document and you may be concerned that an implementation can easily go astray. However, COBIT 5 is actually made to be a simpler document than its predecessor. And there are several root causes of complications that can be readily addressed.
The video is intended to smooth implementations. This video is unique because it is for CIOs and business leaders to help them both appreciate the benefits of COBIT and help practitioners drive more successful implementations. This video is intended for ISACA members to be able to forward to their CIOs and business leaders to shape focus for successful COBIT implementations. In the video, CIOs and business leaders are encouraged to point their teams toward more successful COBIT implementations by: beginning with business-performance objectives, focusing on the business and IT value elements of the COBIT framework, tailoring COBIT as a flexible framework to the business strategy and organizational design, and ensuring COBIT activities are linked back to the business activities to deliver value.
Q: How can I convince my CIO/senior executive that our enterprise should be using COBIT 5?
A: I hear this question frequently. I reply by asking, “Why is your IT leader not interested in COBIT?” Generally, CIOs that have considered COBIT and dismissed it have done so for one of two reasons. First, they have only seen it in the context of audit and compliance. Even if they think that it is useful in that context, they don’t see an assurance tool as useful in driving profitable revenue. Second, in the past they tried some implementation of COBIT that was unsuccessful. In this case, COBIT was thrown in the bin of other initiatives that didn’t pay off quickly enough. Of course, COBIT pros will quickly see the problems here. In the first case, the gap is an outdated or misunderstanding of the scope and purpose of COBIT. In the second, it’s tripping up in implementation.
Q: What are the top benefits of using COBIT 5?
A: COBIT’s strengths continue to improve over time: broad end-to-end guidance, a close alignment with a wide range of other guidance documents, flexibility to meet organization needs, a global user community and the fact that this evolving framework is much easier to adopt than reinventing the wheel. COBIT gets its strength from the community of volunteers from across industries and around the world who have been refining it over the years. In short, the greatest benefit of COBIT 5 is delivering more value to business leaders from IT resources.
Brian Barnier, CGEIT, CRISC
Principal Analyst & Advisor, ValueBridge Advisors
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