Rutger Heijmerikx

IT Governance: precondition to your success

In previous publications we spoke about complexity of IT systems and corresponding processes. For McCoy & Partners it is our core business to reduce this complexity. In this blog I will talk about the role of IT governance, as it has a major role in the existence of complexity as well as in solving it.

Heavily polluted system- and process environments are often a direct result of years of 'You ask we deliver' approach. Business wanted certain functionality, and also had the means to either buy these applications or have them tailor made. IT is in this case regarded as a maintenance organization with little influence on systems and procedures around new programs and changes.

The result of this approach is a very complex system landscape with a high degree of complexity, high TCO and a long time-to-market for innovations. This is a direct result of an IT governance which is not based on a guiding role for the IT department around procedures and standards, but instead facilitates a 'You ask we deliver' way of working.

Once business and IT realize that this approach has led to an uncontrollable situation, it is time to redefine systems and processes, but most of all the corresponding governance.

We do not want to create a bureaucratic environment in which every innovation or change is hampered by harsh rules and regulations. Simultaneously we need to establish a governance that is 'workable', a good mix between practicality and structure. Business and IT have to agree on this governance, which is one of the leading elements to get to the to-be environment. Finally all parties involved will benefit from a more simple and standard way of working, both in IT and in business.

And everyone wants to move their applications to the cloud, or at least the standard/commodity ones. This can only be done successfully when IT and business work according to standards and the basics, so no complex modifications and turnarounds for 'normal' business functions.

This Future Mode of Operations can only be achieved through a new governance. This governance consists of a set of agreements between business and IT. Also an agreement on new or to-be changed applications. The to-be situation, standards and procedures (described in a pragmatic and workable way) are crucial in this document.

Finally there is of course discipline, combined with an institutionalized change management process. We see TCT's and CMT's (Template Control Teams and Change Management Teams) arising in many new organizations.

If the organization finally also delegates senior managerial resources and empowerment to these teams, chances of success will be maximized.