ISACA is synonymous with trust and value. The association of 100,000 constituents in 180 countries helps IT professionals achieve trust in, and value from, their information systems. One way it does this is through the COBIT framework. Now in version 5, COBIT has helped enterprises worldwide understand and implement IT governance. COBIT 5 is a business framework for effective governance and management of enterprise IT.
What is a framework? A framework is a basic conceptual structure used to solve or address complex issues. Today IT is an indispensable part of any enterprise. COBIT 5 has bridged an important gap between the business and IT.
However, there is still a general apprehension about terms such as “governance” and “management”, especially among technical persons. These terms are sometimes regarded as a lot of jargon with little practical use by IT people. With the growth of information technology in India, the sooner IT professionals adopt these concepts, the better off they will be. They need to talk the language of the business to help the businesses get the full benefits of IT. COBIT 5 provides that common language.
The governance function is to set the direction in which the organization should move and keep it on the set path. This can be done only by understanding the needs of all the stakeholders, i.e., all those who are keenly interested in the organization. The people who govern are those who evaluate, direct and monitor if the organization is making progress in the set direction. Thus, the governance function is the responsibility of the board of directors and its chairman. They decide the right priorities and right direction for the organization. The decision to embrace IT in a big way for an enterprise, to evaluate, direct and monitor that the stakeholders’ needs are addressed for the realization of the benefits while optimizing the risks and resources, is therefore a governance function.
The management task is to plan, build, run and monitor activities in alignment with the direction set by the governance body to achieve the enterprise’s objectives. The management function is the responsibility of the management team under the leadership of the CEO. His/her responsibility is to put the appropriate plans in action to achieve the goals set by the governance body.
IT is complicated, but IT governance doesn’t have to be. That is the theme featured in a special track on COBIT 5 at the Asia-Pacific Computer Audit, Control and Security (CACS) and Information Security and Risk Management (ISRM) Conference being held at New Delhi’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on 14-15 September 2012. World-renowned experts will explain COBIT 5 and help you understand and implement it in your own organization, so you and your enterprise can reap its significant benefits.
Avinash Kadam, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, CISSP, CSSLP, CBCP
Advisor, ISACA India Growth Task Force
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