COBIT 5 is perhaps one of the most widely used business frameworks for IT practices and governance. The framework’s main aim is to get as much value from the company’s existing information systems as possible. COBIT uses various governance and management techniques along with some globally acknowledged principles and practices, and various tools and processes to reach the end result.
COBIT helps with better decision-making when it comes to achieving business objectives to meet all the stakeholder needs in the organization. The main applications of COBIT 5 include the following:
- Information security
- Risk management
- Regulatory compliance
Practical Applications of COBIT 5
Securing all information and data within the company plays a very important role in COBIT 5. The framework in charge of doing is making all IT and security professionals more aware of the new and upcoming technologies and the threats that come with them. After the threats and risks have been recognized, COBIT 5 helps companies make more informed decisions and implement different strategies to ensure information security. 43% of the costs of managing a cyber attack go in loss of information, which is a big amount. That’s why managing all direct information security-related activities is so important.
COBIT helps companies in this case by integrating information security processes across the organization and making them more simple to increase their cost-effectiveness. COBIT comes with different enhanced security arrangements that create risk awareness to reduce information security attacks and incidents.
The COBIT 5 framework helps a lot when it comes to managing risks because it unifies all IT processes and deployment by reducing the IT implementation risk within the lifecycle of implementation. All IT initiative needs are considered, and this includes the risks that come with them. COBIT 5 caters to all adaptation and agility requirements that come with the stakeholders and other users.
COBIT 5 is used to evaluate company policies and the different technologies and processes, which can only be done with a high-level business framework. It is an IT-oriented standard that helps auditors monitor how the IT processes work alongside the company’s policies and regulations.
Many companies use COBIT to help them stay compliant with all the new regulations because COBIT makes sure that all companies’ business needs are addressed while maintaining the security standards in place.
Companies need to identify all risks and opportunities effectively. This can be one by optimizing the existing IT assurance approach within the organization. COBIT 5 can be used to do so. It helps professionals plan and performs assurance reviews to unify the company’s business, IT, and assurance goals.
COBIT 5 creates a common framework to make it easy for professionals to understand what improvements need to be made, helping the executives in charge of assurance plan, scope, and execute all their assurance initiatives more effectively. It also helps employees navigate complex technologies and create strategic value for all stakeholders. All current approaches get improved because companies address all aspects of IT assurance in the company.
Best Practices to follow COBIT 5
Different needs have to be met for utilizing COBIT 5 to its maximum potential. These principles help in setting a predecessor to following best practices for COBIT 5 implementation and use.
Meeting Stakeholder Needs
Organizations come with different stakeholders that have different needs. Sometimes these needs can be conflicting, which is something COBIT 5 can address with the following best practices:
- Organizations need to define all relevant as well as tangible goals
- They need to define and allocate the levels of responsibility in employees
- The importance of enablers needs to be communicated across the relevant professionals
Covering the Entire Enterprise
All aspects of information governance and management need to be an enterprise-wide function. This needs to include all technologies related to information within the company, even outside IT. The organization members need to be aware of all assets that help them achieve their business objectives. The best practices to meet this principle are:
- Defining what the governance enablers are and their scope
- Assigning different roles and activities to the relationship based on this
Applying a Single Integrated Framework
COBIT 5 can be used for various approaches related to IT and risk management to create a streamlined way to manage all data. The best practices to ensure this takes place successfully are:
- Reviewing all the existing standards which are related to the company
- Identifying risks properly
- Making sure that COBIT 5 is aligned with the enterprise goals
Creating a Holistic Approach
COBIT focuses on creating a holistic and unified way of information governance by considering all the factors that could influence meeting the organization’s business and IT objectives. This includes all the principles and policies of the company, along with the framework. COBIT gives companies a way to combine their processes and create organizational structures, incorporating all services and applications. The best practices to make sure this happens are:
- Companies need to properly outline practices and activities that are responsible for achieving business objectives
- Clearly define all the decision-making entities involved in operations
- Implementing the policies and principles of the framework in the daily operations of the company
- Reviewing all the information that is used by the organization
- Defining proper roles to members of the company based on their skill set for decision making and completion of objectives
Separating Governance and Management
Management and governance are often combined, even though they are two very different parts of the company. When it comes to evaluating and monitoring information, governance is involved; and when it comes to planning, running, and monitoring all day-to-day operations, management gets involved. These processes need to be separated. The best way to implement COBIT 5 and achieve this is by following these best practices for governance:
- Creating guiding principles for the organization
- Implementing a model for decision making
- Creating levels of authority for processes
- Receiving and implementing feedback on the effectiveness and performance of IT and enterprise-wide governance
These are the best practices for management:
- Effectively communicating all ground rules
- Establishing and communicating all IT objectives and policies
- Constantly evaluating ways to improve processes
- Creating standards for quality management and processes to measure and review the same
- Reviewing and monitoring performance reports
- Communicating all ongoing and new compliance requirements
These applications and best practices need to be implemented throughout the organization so that companies can derive full benefit from COBIT 5. It is more than an IT governance system, which is why all the employees and responsible professionals need to be trained and certified in the COBIT 5 framework.
Some of the popular COBIT 5 Certification courses that professionals can take up are: