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COBIT 5—a business framework?

| Posted at 8:00 AM by ISACA News | Category: COBIT-Governance of Enterprise IT | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (4)

Miguel García-MenéndezIn a popular professional social network recently, an individual penned a post suggesting that considering COBIT 5 a “business framework” was nonsense. He challenged readers to provide an explanation to justify such a definition for ISACA’s model.

Here goes mine! In its early years, COBIT was more of an IT model. Nonetheless, its latest edition— COBIT 5—has actually evolved into a “business framework.” This needs clarification; otherwise it would be easy to make the mistake of thinking that we are talking about a model for traditional business processes, such as sales, engineering, marketing, etc.

Nothing could be further from the truth! This is clearly detailed by ISACA, which describes COBIT 5 as “a business framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.” That means—as anyone who knows the model’s background can tell you—that the new version maintains a focus on IT but with a more pronounced business approach and emphasis. The stakeholders on the business side can benefit along with those on the IT side. In other words, driving and controlling (governing) the IT behavior within any organization goes beyond the CIO’s realm.

In this way, COBIT 5 becomes a framework for the corporate governance of IT. Previous editions—from the first COBIT, introduced in 1996, to 2007’s COBIT 4.1—focused more on practices to help the CIO better manage the IT shop.

Of course, the message of COBIT 5 is not a new one. This message emerged seven years ago, back in 2006 when Val IT was born. Val IT was the first of ISACA’s models that provided a business standpoint of IT and its related issues, highlighting that there are many IT-related activities that should be performed by the “business people,” not the IT team.

If you explore this idea through the RACI matrix, to model the number of accountabilities and responsibilities beyond the CIO’s, you see how COBIT 5 is a framework not exclusively designed for the IT team.

Since it is a collection of good practices to be adopted and adapted in the implementation of an overarching IT governance-and-management system, COBIT 5 can be—should be—referred to as a business framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

There is nothing nonsensical about that.

Miguel García-Menéndez, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC
Co-founder, CEO and Research Director, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute ( iTTi)
Board Member and Research Director, ISACA Madrid Chapter

Continue the conversation…engage with your peers in the COBIT 5-Use it Effectively topic in ISACA’s Knowledge Center.


COBIT 5—a business framework?


Why no reference to the original article?  This commentary, while maybe true, is worthless without it.

Can you please add the appropriate link to the professional network article.

Thank you,
Seán McPoland
Seán at 6/13/2013 6:02 AM

Re: COBIT 5—a business framework?

Dear Sean:

Do you actually think that the orginal question posed (or, even, its author identity) is relevant enought to the purpose of the article?

Do you think is it relevant to explain how COBIT  -and maybe ISACA-  has evolved from a CIO-centric view to a wider one?

Actually, I don't think so. Because of this, and because of an issue of respect to another's opinion, I didn't considered necessary to mention the URL.

Anyway, it will be easy for you to locate a discussion started early this year, on a popular social, professional, network which is cellebrating its 10th Aniversary and which recently has reached 225+ M users!

I discussed with, and expressed my opinion to, the man who posed the original question, at that time, and it is not may intention to reopen a new one.

I am confident you will understand my reasons.
Kind regards, Sean,
Miguel at 6/13/2013 8:31 AM

Nice write off

I learn from this write off, though am new student member. Planning to take my exams by September. What is the actual difference between cobit 4.1 and cobit 5. Thanks
Kabir275 at 6/23/2013 5:03 PM

Re: CobiT 5—a business framework?

A key take away is that rather than just an IT Process Model, CobiT® 5 has evolved into an IT Governance Framework with a set of practices and a management system.  There are several new processes like EDM1 Set and Maintain Governance Framework that are of interest.

I myself have not found any negative social media about CobiT 5, but rather the opposite with even skeptics praising additions like the evaluate-direct-monitor (EDM) model from ISO 38500.  The only angst I've heard was about the need for more training courses, though this was also true when ITIL V3 emerged.
mbuckner at 6/25/2013 2:32 PM
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