Compromise Is At Heart of IT Governance

January 14, 2011 No Comments

I’m having trouble getting my 9-year-old to brush his teeth. I’ve explained why it’s important and so has our dentist. He gets it. But as a kid who doesn’t like routine and resists anything he finds boring, he doesn’t want to take the time to do it. When he does brush, he spends about 30 seconds on the task, so he’s obviously not giving it the attention it deserves.

The way my son views this bit of personal hygiene reminds me of the way many organizations see IT governance. It’s an unwelcome chore that requires short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.

Not only that, but the idea of governance doesn’t mesh well with increasing demands for more “flexibility” and “agility.” After all, what’s agile about decisions made by committee?

Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D., CIO of O’Reilly Media, touched on this in a column for O’Reilly Radar. It’s often tough to win buy-in for an IT governance program, he writes, because “in effect, you have to introduce a modicum of bureaucracy which will often arouse aversion by business leaders.”

IT governance “requires that the scarce resource of technology capacity be diligently distributed across the organization for overall business success,” he says. While this sounds great in principle, it’s not always popular in practice as many teams tend to think their needs should be given priority.

Read More of Ann All’s Blog Post


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