No to IT Governance, Yes to Strategic Governance


John Thorp, a leading thinker in so many areas, has a strong and unequivocal statement on his website that just resonates so clearly with me, that I am compelled to reproduce it here:-

while looking at IT governance alone will generate a lot of articles, books and work for consultants, it will unfortunately be of limited value. The problems with IT governance are a symptom of broader problems with enterprise governance. What we have here is a labeling issue – as long as we continue to talk about IT value, IT alignment, IT strategy and IT governance we will be dealing with the symptom, not the problem, and, in doing so, we risk merely perpetuating the problem. We must instead drop the IT label and look at the governance of all assets, including but not limited to IT, in the context of an overall, integrated approach to enterprise governance – a Strategic Governance approach.

I should like to think that everyone would realise the reality of John’s comment. Yet the mere fact that he made it indicates that many do not.

Personally I passionately believe that you cannot distinguish the various forms of governance, we must tackle governance as an integrated whole.

If we do not do that then we will continue to see the same problems we have seen in the past, recurring in the future.

As John Thorp writes:-

If they are to survive the current global economic crisis, and thrive beyond it, enterprises must demonstrate that they understand how to create value, have strategies capable of delivering value both quickly and over the long term, and have a track record of successfully executing those strategies.

Self evident one might think, yet so often neglected.

Key to Thorp’s thesis and to so much else, is the concept of value creation. yet, so often we see value creation ignored for process, compliance etc, etc.

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