The evolution of the enterprise has made it such that the reliance of IT is very important to meeting customers’ dynamic needs. Offering the best strategic solution to customer needs may not necessarily mean installing the latest IT products. Instead it may require combining several factors (risk, security, support, maintenance, cost, etc.) to deliver that solution.
The financial sector is influenced heavily by public perception, firm regulations and tight competition, and is also a critical part of every society. Governance plays an important role in this sector to ensure various stakeholders are protected and satisfied. To ensure value, financial institutions seek to gain competitive advantage through differential strategies because the product (currency) is the same. It is important to note that the satisfaction of the shareholders/owners cannot be achieved in isolation; hence, customers have the real power and effectively meeting their needs can bring about the failure or the success of the organisation.
The role of governance of enterprise IT (GEIT) becomes very important when organisational complexity exists and business uses IT not only for support and enablement, but also to gain a clear competitive advantage over rivals by introducing innovation as part of its strategy. One example of this can be seen in a financial institution using a mixture of radical and incremental innovation while encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset in its work culture.
How do you govern this type of organisation to ensure proper regulations are enforced, and at the same time encourage new ideas (which means new risk) while utilizing technology to deliver these products/services, ahead of your competition? The foundational areas of stability, risk, security and public perception have been joined with speed, agility, first to market and flexibility, creating a new landscape for developing enterprise strategy.
Aligning governance, strategy, innovation and IT is a complicated task since the synergy, environment and structure may or may not exist in order to get the right results. The study of the five domains of GEIT which include Framework for the Governance of Enterprise IT, Strategic Management, Benefits Realization, Risk Optimization and Resource Optimization can help in achieving this challenge by offering a framework that can be tailored and also a mindset to analyse these variables.
Ammett Williams, CCIE
Telecommunication Team leader at First Citizens, TT
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