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How IT Governance Can Spur Innovation With the Right Metrics

| Published: 7/14/2014 7:44 AM | Category: COBIT-Governance of Enterprise IT | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)
Yo DelmarYo Delmar, CISM, CGEIT
Last year, the Harvard Business Review published a blog post that claimed, “IT governance is killing innovation.” Since then, I have talked to many business executives—both from IT and the business side—on this very subject. Most of them attest to the mounting importance of IT governance, especially in today’s world where technology has become increasingly pervasive across all business activities.

Some of the questions that popped up in our conversations included:  Can IT governance programs do more than just manage IT operations and performance? Can IT collaborate better with the business to drive innovation? Can IT governance play a more transformative role in the organization?

I believe the answer to all 3 questions is yes. Robust IT governance programs that provide real insights can actually facilitate business innovation and growth. The keywords are “meaningful metrics and analytics.” When metrics are thoughtfully developed to closely align with both business objectives and the analytics framework, they enable an organization to fine-tune its strategies and to optimize resources toward maximizing its competitive advantage.

IT metrics act as building blocks of a larger business analytics program, which can help organizations make more informed decisions when it comes to opportunities to drive business performance and innovation. Most importantly, IT analytics empower the organization with the strategic, practical and operational insights it needs to invest in IT projects that have the most transformative power.

Here are a few things to consider while developing effective IT metrics and analytics for your IT governance program:

  • Ensure that your IT metrics and analytics are defined and directed by enterprise goals, not the other way around.
  • Partner with the business to create metrics around emerging technologies, like social media, that can boost brand performance.
  • Define metrics that can quickly adapt to a dynamic business and technological environment.
  • Choose metrics that are relevant across multiple initiatives, such as IT security, business continuity, disaster recovery, crisis management and asset protection.
  • Ensure that people in the organization know what is being measured, how and why.
  • Do not get locked into a static set of metrics or analytics that no longer measure what matters—constantly reevaluate them and their relevance to changing business goals.

With the right set of IT metrics and the resulting analytics framework, closely aligned with business strategy and performance objectives, IT departments can become centers of innovation and competitive advantage.

Read Yo Delmar’s recent Journal article:
Leveraging Metrics for Business Innovation,” ISACA Journal, volume 4, 2014.


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