PO4.2 IT Strategy Committee

by Bill Oxley

CobiT definition:

Establish an IT strategy committee at the board level. This committee should ensure that IT governance, as part of enterprise governance, is adequately addressed; advise on strategic direction; and review major investments on behalf of the full board.

Bill says,

One of the important things to remember when looking at a framework such as CobiT is that it isn’t right for everyone, or rather, parts of it may need to be adjusted to fit your organization. Whether your IT Strategy Committee will be a different group than your IT Steering Committee (which is the next control object), is a question of the size, maturity and industry of your company. As defined by Cobit, this IT Strategy Committee is at the board level, which may very well work in certain companies. Perhaps those companies have boards interested in having an IT Strategy Committee alongside their Executive Compensation Committee. But not in my experience.

Certainly large IT investments or directions changes that have a material impact on the business should be raised to the board level, but at least in my company we would never form such a committee at the board level; there simply would be no interest in it. Does that mean you shouldn’t do this? Of course not – if you an get the interest at the board level then go for it! Otherwise, you simply implement your IT Strategy Committee at a lower level in the organization, certainly including senior business managers.

At my company we have both an IT Strategy Committee, which meets only once a year, and an IT Steering Committee, which meets quarterly. The Strategy Committee’s role is very big picture and simply serves as a beacon of “true north” from an IT investment and direction standpoint. Every decision we make should align with the annual strategy developed and/or approved by the IT Strategy Committee.

The governance around how that strategy comes to fruition is done at the IT Steering Committee level, which we’ll discuss next.

The second step in Defining the IT Processes, Organization and Relationships is to form a solid IT Strategy Committee.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin March 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hi Bill!

I think you have developed a rather interesting blog, and you have written a lot of good blog posts.

When I read this particular blog post on CoBIT and the IT process framework it makes me think if it is possible just to implement an “off the shelf” framework in an enterprise like yours and expect that it will give the enterprise any kind of advantage, besides being able to adapt to generic and mediocre management models.

What are your thoughts on the CoBIT framework? How have you implemented the process? Have you adapted the framework in order to make it work, or optimized it to your specific enterprise or something completely different?

Best wishes,

Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin

2 Jenna November 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hi Bill,

I am doing a project on COBIT and would love to get in touch with you. The contact box on your contact page is not working on my computer, so if you are interested in providing me with some insight, pleace email me at jmaertz@infotech.com. I would really appreciate your time.

3 Jenise Rucker June 27, 2012 at 5:58 am

Many organizations express concerns for this and many frameworks/methodologies. The key here, as you have expressed, is the professional’s ability to assess the environmental (needs) and to “taylor” accordingly. ¬†Organization must know – up front – that this capability exists……

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