Business executives are able to hold two contradictory thoughts in their heads: Technology is costly, but the internal IT services they use are free. An IT governance process is the way to get those execs to understand IT’s true costs — and opportunities.
“CIOs have a responsibility to help transform business partners into informed co-investors of the IT budget,” explains executive recruiter and author Martha Heller, who moderated a CIO Executive Council (CEC) virtual meeting on IT governance.
The virtual meeting included Michael Hites, CIO at the University of Illinois; Thomas Kuczynski, CIO of the District of Columbia’s Water and Sewer Authority; and Alejandro Jose Reyes, director of IT governance and strategy at The AES Corporation.
Hites, for example, described a Governance Portfolio Project Management Office that sends executives a packet that “lists all the projects that are in flight, all the projects that are in the queue, where the resources are going, and stoplight reports for everything. This goes to the governance group, which meets on a regular basis, so they can take a look at our strategic plan, our strategic alignment, the list of the projects, and actively reprioritize them if they want to.
“What we found over the past decade is that there's been about 500 projects that have gone through the process, and about 60 or 70 of them have been rejected or withdrawn based on that kind of active management methodology. If not withdrawn, it will be prioritized so low that it's never going to get worked on again, essentially dying in committee,” Hites said.
In a CEC report on the highlights of the meeting, the three IT execs discuss:
- Their definitions of what “IT governance” means to them
- How they structure it in their organizations
- How they integrate IT governance with enterprise architecture and standards
- How they keep stakeholders engaged in the process
- What they do about shadow IT
- How to find the ROI in IT governance
- Post-implementation audits as part of the governance process
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