First of all – when IT Governance is considered – it is not about IT unit management (well, at least not only), but it is a decisions taking process related to information technologies used in the company. In reality stakeholders of this process are spread throughout the entire organization, sometimes business units are even in the driver’s seat as they decide what IT systems to purchase. On the other hand, decisions about IT infrastructure or maintenance are often disconnected from day-to-day business operations, thus are perceived as “an overhead” or even “a whim” of chief of IT.
In digital age IT should never be considered as “a cost center” because this way of thinking drives us to
“cost saving” perspective. Of course IT should be cost efficient, but the point is that information technologies should be considered rather as “a tool” or “enabler” to achieve company’s results. From this perspective blind cost-cutting (e.g. 10% reduction of operational costs in all units across the company, or 5% staff reduction in all teams) might bring contrary – further drop of efficiency in the core business.
Lack of clear understanding information technologies role and it’s governance process creates a frustration in heads of non-IT executives. The point is that “IT stuff” will not be solved for them by “IT guy” without involving them! If the company is (to transform to) digital – and information technologies are (to become) a lever – IT is everybody’s business.
Understanding existing (sometimes non-formal) IT governance should be the first step of transforming it into transparent companywide decision making process. That should allow to manage information technologies in a way to ensure, that IT becomes an efficient tool for the implementation of business strategy, thus IT becomes a lever giving a competitive advantage on the market in a long term.