COBIT Case Study: Maitland Utilizes COBIT to Improve ICT Governance 

 

Come join the discussion! Tim Brown will be responding to questions in the discussion area of the COBIT—Use It Effectively topic beginning 15 July 2011.


Maitland is a privately owned, international firm providing wealth services to private and institutional clients. The enterprise creates, preserves and manages its clients’ wealth and commercial success through a uniquely personal, proactive and responsive approach.

The firm was founded in Luxembourg in 1976 and now employs more than 550 people in 11 offices across Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa. Maitland has more than US $120 billion in international assets under administration.

Need for COBIT

Increasing business oversight and accountability for the information and communication technology (ICT) asset is a cornerstone of Maitland’s future ICT governance state. In order to create a shared understanding of ICT and its purpose, the enterprise recognized that a governance framework was needed.

Governance principles for general business use were already well understood by Maitland’s senior management. Aligning ICT governance to COBIT was regarded as a natural extension of the overall organizational governance practices. Maitland had first learned about and used COBIT in early 2004 while undertaking research for a governance framework to guide general ICT management.

Process

Maitland’s COBIT deployment has been fundamental in achieving its goal of a considered and responsible transition in governance models. The enterprise’s COBIT training rollout was designed to include both business and ICT resources; in this way, a shared understanding and common governance language was created, which served as a lens to visualize the desired state for the emerging ICT domain. This approach has worked well, and the enterprise continues to benefit from the improved governance maturity.

The design and deployment of Maitland’s project office environment has given the enterprise the opportunity to gain control over the number and diversity of projects that had been undertaken previously. The environment is now successfully orchestrated and offers both visibility and credibility to business projects (including ICT-related projects), while ensuring greater opportunity for success.

Going Forward

Maitland is increasingly using the COBIT framework as a guide to structure and position the enterprise’s thinking in many ICT subject areas. Also, Maitland has found that the governance principles noted in COBIT are universally applicable—not exclusive to the ICT domain—and is in the process of applying them enterprisewide.

Tim Brown, Ph.D.
is CIO of the Maitland Group. His previous roles include founder and managing director of Aqute Business Intelligence, which offers a range of prebuilt analytics for the short-term insurance industry, and founder and chief operations officer (COO) of WebSoft (later WebSoft Maven), which provided an extensive range of software, general technology and consulting services for the insurance industry. Brown’s areas of interest include ICT governance and organizational performance, and organizational dematerialization as a consequence of technological pervasiveness.