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Updated by Charles Bystock on 03/10/2016

IT sourcing advisors

IT governance is all about how your IT is structured, managed, and overseen, and while it may still be a relatively new discipline or job focus, it is an important part of an overall corporate governance strategy. Without a good IT governance strategy in place, it can be difficult to ascertain whether your IT department is providing your organization all of the benefits that it should.

If your governance is misaligned, then you may be leaving yourself open to a number of other issues that may be impossible to foresee without the help of experienced IT sourcing advisors who understand the larger role that IT governance plays within an organization.

What Does IT Governance Do for an Organization?

One of the major benefits of IT governance is that it puts a plan in place to ensure that the activities of your IT department are aligned with the objectives of your organization. It also ensures that your IT is capable of supporting and enabling the achievement of said goals. With a proper governance strategy in place, your company will be able to quickly evaluate your IT department, because your governance strategy will lay out the IT’s role in terms of how it should:

  • Support the needs of the organization overall
  • Provide the organization with maximum benefits
  • Invest in the right initiatives
  • Manage risks properly

IT is a huge investment for many companies, and to guarantee a good ROI, it’s important to have a governance strategy in place that can track performance, resource management, and how IT is contributing to the company’s overall success.

Consequences of Misaligned Governance

When IT governance is misaligned, it means there's a discrepancy between what the organization needs and what IT is actually providing. Many IT sourcing advisors have seen firsthand the negative impact of misaligned IT governance, which can lead to wasted time and resources, getting poor value from your investments, missing out on the benefits that IT has to offer, getting improper support, and mismanaged risks and regulatory breaches. Furthermore, misaligned governance can also leave you vulnerable to unforeseen risks, and all of this can lead to a damaged reputation for your organization and a dwindling bottom line.

How Does Misalignment Occur?

The major culprits behind IT governance misalignment are poor planning and lack of communication. When you're creating your business strategy and your IT governance strategy, it’s important to fully develop your plans of action and all necessary steps involved. This is what will allow you to properly implement your plan since you’re laying out the specifics for:

  • What your goals and expectations are
  • Who the key players are
  • The different roles and tasks that need to be tackled
  • Who’s responsible for which tasks
Lack of communication can also derail an otherwise perfect IT governance strategy because, in order to make a plan, there needs to be open and effective communication. Once the lines of communication are open, a plan can be devised, and everyone can get on the same page regarding shared goals, responsibility, and accountability.

Furthermore, communication also ensures that there are no gaps between what IT thinks the organization needs versus what the organization actually needs, and no misunderstandings in terms of what IT can deliver versus what the organization thinks IT is capable of providing.

IT governance plays a significant role in ensuring the realization of your goals and the success of your organization. Misalignment can occur because of a lack of planning or communication, and the effects of this can be devastating. Moreover, a misaligned IT governance strategy can prevent your enterprise from running like the well-oiled machine it’s meant to be, and can stop you from hitting the milestones that your enterprise desires.