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How to Balance IT Governance with Self-Service!

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Responding to the “We’ve always done it this way” syndrome has always been a challenge to IT and business leadership.  Trouble is, you rarely come across this practice in businesses that deliver the most value to their customers and shareholders.  Instead, “this way” is usually a “code phrase” for informal, undocumented approaches to completing tasks.  It was never an optimal approach.

Today, it’s not even acceptable, because business is now driven by technology, which—properly applied—constantly offers opportunities for efficiencies, savings, and improved performance. Realizing those opportunities requires consistent processes—predictable, repeatable, and enforceable.

In the past, the IT department governed technology and data access.  They controlled which software made its way into the business, and who had access to that software.  They were in charge of delivering new solutions to the business.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the pendulum swing in the opposite direction.  Self-service tools have exploded in the business world.  More and more, business units purchase and use software on their own–behind the IT department’s back – so-called “shadow IT”.  The problem is, this creates security risks.  If employees (or entire departments) purchase and use third-party solutions, IT has no way of managing and securing that data.  Both the IT departments and the business leaders are realizing that neither option is good.  The business can’t go back to waiting on IT for all technology needs, yet they can’t bypass IT altogether.

What’s the answer?  In the near future, we’ll see these two options merge into a controlled self-service approach.  The job of the CIO and IT leader: Give users the self-service options they need while controlling data and user access.

For assistance with drafting new IT Governance processes that can accommodate past and future scenarios, give us a call.