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How to inspire strong IT governance?

Here are 6 tips to help you get a grip on IT governance for your business.

Imagine you’re a rope climber inspecting window glazing on a skyscraper. Critical examination of your climbing kit of sling, carabiners and knots isn’t something you’d ignore, forget about, or leave to another to assay.

1. So what is IT governance – it sounds a bit restrictive?
IT governance provides a structure for aligning your IT strategy with your business strategy. By sticking with a formal framework, your business can get at the nuggets of measurable results by shooting goals and winning at strategy. A well considered strategy also takes the vested interests of others into account, including the needs of employees and the procedures they follow. On a broader scale, IT governance is an integral peg of overall enterprise governance.

2. Look within – test the ropes
Ignoring sensible IT governance is guaranteed to expose your IT network to demolition by neglect. Imagine you’re a rope climber inspecting window glazing on a skyscraper. Critical examination of your climbing kit of sling, carabiners and knots isn’t something you’d ignore, forget about, or leave to another to assay. In fact, safety and precaution would have to be reasonably high on your mental checklist before you made any spider-like moves to launch out with your bucket of tools into thin air to dangle in the breeze via a slender thread of plaited nylon. When it comes to business IT governance, be that rope climber! Interrogate your IT infrastructure, take the time to track your workflow, review your procedures and identify where IT plays a critical role in your business.

3. Look beyond – observe the live edge
Self-protection is critical but what about those thorny exclusion zones or pinch points that all impact your service levels? Determine where your IT systems touch business and clients outside your network. Are there weak points? Assess these for risk and see what you can do to mitigate or eliminate risk.

4. Know the physics
In other words, write an IT policy and scrutinise it regularly. Gravity is a tough schoolmaster and ignorance of its principles can be tricky for your average rope climber. Land on your feet gently; generate buy in from your team with well crafted IT policies that will equip them with a consistent set of guidelines. Then follow through on adherence.

5. Swing into action
What if you were to suffer a serious IT disruption? Do you have a documented plan to continue operating? You know the old climber’s adage – ‘without a slipknot the brick drops’. Without infotech your world stops. You can take action now with a Business Continuity Plan that addresses a gambit of scenarios to get your sling swinging again.

6. Accept but Verify
Don’t fear testing your IT system for robustness since complacency in this area could be catastrophic. Be fearless to call out any flaws. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a fire drill, apply the same vigilance to your IT network. Any life-loving rope climber would routinely inspect slings and ropes for wear and tear, and triple check that their fall arresting devices cut the mustard. Are your backup procedures working and restorable? How vulnerable are your employees to fraudulent emails? How well are staff adhering to IT policy and procedures? You can easily increase security awareness through staff training and reporting. Routinely debrief any shortcomings with your team.

Here at Cicom we can help you to implement sound IT governance within your business or organisation through Managed IT solutions, IT Audits, Data Security measures and Business Continuity plans.

For a confidential discussion on IT governance for your business, contact us on 1300 324 266 or email clinton@cicom.com.au

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