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How Enterprises Can Modernize Their IT Governance to Stay Competitive and Compliant

Posted by Brenda Barrioz on Nov 13, 2019 8:49:56 AM

IT is now the main driver for enterprises in achieving operational success and remaining competitive in the market.

81% of executives believe IT is crucial in enabling innovative business strategies in 2019, while a similar study by PwC suggests that tech like AI and automation will be critical business advantages in the coming years.

Unfortunately, innovation in tech is growing faster than the rate at which organizations can adopt it. A 2018 survey by IDG found that while organizations realized the importance of adopting new tech, 44% of respondents did nothing in terms of IT innovation, while 51% say transformation efforts have stalled or stopped completely.

A big part of this lack of innovation is IT governance, which if done effectively can help bring enterprises into the modern era, remaining compliant, adaptable, and competitive.

Why IT Governance Matters More Than Ever

What is IT governance, exactly? IT governance is a “formal framework that provides a structure for organizations to ensure that IT investments support business objectives.”

In other words, IT governance is a set of best practices and controls focused on making sure IT strategy is aligned with business strategy. Business strategy must, of course, remain within the confines of the law. Therefore, IT governance also deals with ensuring IT related practices fulfill legal requirements.

A good example of how IT governance can help an enterprise is with the risk of data loss. Data loss risks are growing significantly for enterprises as more and more data is created and enterprise IT infrastructure becomes more complicated. This creates new challenges that require careful planning and adaptation to avoid massive unexpected productivity/monetary costs and legal issues. Non-compliance with data regulations alone costs companies anywhere between $2.2 million to $32.2 million, depending on the severity of the case.

With data regulations (e.g. GDPR) becoming stricter, enterprises must manage their IT governance to remain on top of such issues so they can avoid costly fees and protect the sensitive data of their customers and employees.

Another example can be seen in cloud computing. Enterprises are only now migrating their workloads to the cloud even though the tech has long moved on to higher-level concepts like the hybrid cloud and edge computing.

 

 

How the hybrid cloud works in enterprise IT (image source)

Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on outdated technology, security, and compliance rules in their IT operations. In fact, 1 out of 3 organizations have little to no IT governance policies in place to ensure technology and practices remain compliant and competitive—a shocking stat considering the staggering costs of falling behind in the market or breaking the law.

This is a serious problem for enterprises, as without IT governance, they are vulnerable to any number of issues, from security risks, to massive wastes of time and effort, to expensive fines.

For example, an inexperienced developer working with no governance model to ensure quality standards may release a faulty software build that allows attackers to steal sensitive data. The organization then loses millions in settling lawsuits from customers, not to mention the reputation damage that comes along with such an event.

With effective IT governance, enterprises can overcome most—if not all—of the issues related to compliance. Innovation will also be boosted significantly, with modern IT governance policies ideally striking the right balance between freedom and security to experiment with new technology.

Another benefit of modernizing IT governance is that it involves every relevant business unit in the decision making process. From key executives to the software development teams, everyone has a say in deciding how the organization moves forward digitally. This means the CIO is not the only person responsible for the company’s digital innovation efforts. Instead, transformation becomes a collaborative effort, which ultimately leads to a happier office and increased employee engagement—two key factors that are highly influential in achieving operational excellence.

How Enterprises Can Modernize Their IT Governance

Focus on Staff Training

Staff awareness and training are two important areas to focus on improving IT governance. Often times, employees make governance-related mistakes due to not having a clear idea of company policies in the first place.

With consistent training, staff will attain the necessary knowledge to identify compliance risks and understand what to do when a security incident happens. This saves organizations tons of money as employees are able to nip problems in the bud before they become major concerns.

Awareness training also helps employees learn the right way to use technology. For instance, an organization can invest in cloud computing training for its employees to better utilize the technology at work while avoiding common pitfalls.

A tip to keep in mind is staff training should be conducted consistently and spaced out over a period of time for best results. A 1 month program consisting of weekly classes is going to retain the importance of IT governance a lot more effectively than a 1 day bootcamp.

Invest in the Latest Security and Compliance Tools

If your organization is still using pen and paper to deal with compliance, it’s time to move on. There’s no reason why enterprises should manage their IT governance manually with the number of tools at their disposal today. Tools are not 100% necessary, but they help tremendously in improving work efficiency through automating repetitive tasks and analyzing enterprise IT systems.

At the very least, an IT governance tool should be able to give organizations a complete view of their IT operations. The tool should also give key personnel the information they need to make the right business decisions.

Before investing in these tools, businesses should first consider the maturity of their governance policies. Having cutting edge governance tools is close to useless if organizations don’t have a clear grasp of their IT and business strategies.

If your organization is struggling to define its IT governance policies, look into frameworks like COBIT, ITIL, or CMMI to make the process easier.

Greater care should also be given to the features of IT governance software. Many organizations make the mistake of paying for more than what they need to be “safe” without realizing its impact on budgets.

All tools, regardless of the vendor’s reputation, must be assessed thoroughly before a single cent is spent on the software. This helps to avoid over-provisioning and underutilization, thus minimizing spending.

Use Code Dependency Mapping to Identify Application Infrastructure Issues

Today’s competitive landscape has forced many organizations to adopt agile practices in software development. This is good news for rapid delivery, but not so good for governance and compliance.

Keeping track of compliance and ensuring data hygiene are two major challenges faced by most enterprises when building software. Taking care of these two factors would take valuable time and money away from development efforts, which defeats the purpose of being agile.

So, organizations release first and deal with the problems later—a practice popularized by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s rise to the top, otherwise known as "move fast and break things".

However, businesses can avoid this problem simply by leveraging the benefits of code dependency mapping. A code dependency mapping tool works exactly how it sounds. The software maps dependencies between every software and data asset so your organization can understand its IT infrastructure from top to bottom.

The tool works at the code level, which allows it to identify hidden and hard-to-detect dependencies in a variety of environments, including legacy systems and cloud-based implementations.

With code dependency mapping, organizations can see the impacts of a change before the change is implemented. This allows organizations to quickly identify if a change is in line with regulations and governance policies, thus avoiding the risks associated with non-compliance.

The benefits of a code dependency mapping tool also extend to digital transformation strategies. With it, organizations gain the confidence they need to innovate rapidly, as any non-compliant changes can be discarded or reworked immediately—which encourages experimentation and innovation among team members.

Use Panoptics to Modernize Enterprise Governance

CrossCode’s Panoptics is the industry’s leading tool for code dependency mapping.

With Panoptics, enterprises have an intuitive, complete view of their application architecture as well as the ability to monitor every dependency between applications and database assets in detail—all of which benefits the management of enterprise IT governance.

CrossCode’s Governance Operating System (GOeS) takes it one step further by allowing enterprises to automate and modernize their governance, putting reliability, stability, and security back into the IT infrastructure of organizations.

 

 

An example of Panoptics’ GOeS tool to help enterprises with IT governance

GOeS is unique in its ability to create custom rule triggers for specific events. Should an event be triggered, the relevant individuals will be notified so they can take action as soon as a potential issue arises.

Panoptics bolsters security and makes life easier for development teams via GOeS’s Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) database, which allows team members to quickly identify, assess, and resolve threats in IT environments.

 

All of these features work together to give enterprises an automated governance framework for them to manage IT assets efficiently. With Panoptics, you shift the governance culture of your organization from reactive to proactive, while also significantly boosting agile development practices.

 

Ready to transform your IT governance and bring your innovation and security strategies to the next level?

 

Try Panoptics for free today to see how we can help your business transform its IT governance strategies.

 

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Topics: Architecture, Crosscode, Enterprise Governance, Governance, Risk, Security, Panoptics, Compliance, Code Dependency, Blog