By Robert E. Kress
Reviewed by Upesh Parekh, CISA
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IT Governance to Drive High Performance: Lessons From Accenture by Robert E. Kress is a pocket guide that provides insights into IT governance at a global management consultancy serving clients in 120 countries. The author is the executive director of business operations for Accenture’s high-performance IT operations. He is in a unique position to provide a bird’s-eye view of IT governance at a huge, multigeographic and complex organization.
This book, running approximately 40 pages, briefly describes how IT governance works at Accenture. The book is divided into an introduction and five chapters. The author describes the complexity of the organization and presents the need to implement IT governance in the introduction. This sets the stage for the subsequent five chapters, which get into the details of IT governance.
The journey to understanding IT governance at Accenture starts with an overview of IT governance policy, which touches on IT strategy at a very high level (chapter 1). The subsequent two chapters are the core of the book; they describe the IT governance structure in detail. It is interesting to learn how IT decision-making responsibilities at Accenture are divided among different committees and subcommittees across business and IT. The participation of business in IT-related decisions, in the clear accountability of benefit realization and in the interrelationship of different decision-making bodies across the organization is clearly brought out in these chapters.
Chapter 4 ties up discussions in chapters 2 and 3, describing how IT investment decisions are made—flowing from business strategy to IT strategy and finally to the annual budget. Chapter 5 provides tips for effective IT governance.
The strength of the book is that it is concise and crisp. Due to its small size, some topics such as risk management and performance measurement are excluded. However, the book is very interesting and is a good, quick read for those questioning how IT governance can work in a large organization.
IT Governance to Drive High Performance: Lessons From Accenture is available from the ISACA Bookstore. For information, see the ISACA Bookstore Supplement in the latest issue of the ISACA Journal, visit the ISACA Bookstore online or e-mail [email protected].
Upesh Parekh, CISA, works in process governance, testing governance and activities related to IT operational risk assessment at Barclays Technology Centre in India. Parekh has experience in IT security audits, application audits, functional testing and governance-related activities.