A recent study conducted with over 1,300 participating executives stated that one of the biggest issues with a successful digital transformation for any organization was improper governance of IT across the company. This can lead to loss of revenue and failed projects, severely impacting the company. With digital transformation becoming almost a necessity for many organizations, especially if they want to remain successful and competitive in the marketplace, IT security and governance is a priority. In this article, let us explore one of the most popular IT governance framework COBIT.
What is COBIT?
COBIT is one of the most widely-used platforms for IT governance today. With more than 95% of organizations adopting cloud, physical, or hybrid infrastructure to manage their information and data, companies need a strong system that can safeguard and manage their information successfully. It acts as a tool that bridges the gap between IT and business and protects the company’s information.
COBIT is short for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology and is a framework developed by ISACA to handle IT governance and management for organizations. It can be used in any organization in any industry. The system is used to maintain a high quality of information for the company, and maintain control and reliability of the IT systems used in the organization. This can be the difference between a successful venture and a failed operation because IT governance has become one of the most important aspects of businesses today.
It delivers value to the organization that implements it and helps them to improve their risk management processes. It is used by nearly all IT businesses because it guarantees the safety and integrity of all information systems used in the company.
Who Uses the COBIT Framework?
The newest versions COBIT 5 and COBIT 2019, are compatible with all organizations. The system can be applied effectively regardless of the type of organization and its size or the industry it belongs to.
Commercial agencies, IT companies, public sector offices as well as organizations from the non-profit sector can benefit from implementing the COBIT framework. All the companies that use new IT technologies or cloud computing can benefit from this framework, which means virtually all companies across all industries.
Companies who work with information especially can use COBIT to its full potential. These organizations are focused on maintaining the quality of information and its safety for their stakeholders and clients, which is something COBIT does very well. COBIT enhances the overall performance of IT systems in any organization and smoothens out the gaps between the management and IT departments within the company.
The industries that use COBIT the most are listed below:
- Industries that deal with Compliance
- IT Operations based industries
- Auditing Companies and Assurance organizations
- Governance agencies
- Risk Management and Security companies
How Does The COBIT Framework Work?
COBIT gives organizations the infrastructure they need to integrate their IT processes and their business goals. This is done by the many maturity models and metrics present in this framework. This framework is used by companies to measure the progress and achievement of each project and identify and tackle any disruptions or risks that may arise with them. IT and management start to work hand-in-hand to achieve a common goal – the success of their enterprise.
There are four main domains that COBIT processes tackle. These domains are:
- Planning and Organization
- Acquiring and Implementation
- Delivering and Support
- Monitoring and Evaluation
The COBIT framework also focuses on solving problems that may hinder the strategic alignment of all processes within a company. It focuses on creating value with every delivery, tracking and managing the performance of all the IT systems in the organization, as well as managing the risks and resources of the company’s IT processes.
COBIT Principles and Benefits
Principles of COBIT
There are five main principles of COBIT that tackle the responsibilities of IT governance and management. These principles are primarily focused on meeting the needs of all stakeholders while handling enterprise-wide governance, using a single integrated network with a holistic approach. These principles are listed below:
- Meeting the needs of the stakeholder: The stakeholders can determine whether or not the completed project is a successful one, which is why their needs have to be met. Delivering products that meet their requirements and generate value for them is an important principle of COBIT.
- Using a single integrated framework: Both the business side and the IT side of an organization are integrated into one singular framework with COBIT. This means there is no more gap between the two major departments in the organization and all processes can move about freely and smoothly. This framework can also be integrated with a number of other frameworks that are implemented within the company, which means implementing COBIT in an organization won’t hamper the workflow of any other existing processes.
- COBIT takes a holistic approach to data and information governance: Since it is a fully integrated system, once implemented, it enables the organization to work as a single unit. There are enablers in COBIT that help this principle come to fruition by taking a holistic approach to handling the work of an entire organization.
- COBIT covers the entire organization: It offers an enterprise-wide solution that can be applied to all departments of the company including sales and marketing (the business end), the software and IT (the IT end) as well as the finance-based departments (the audit end). Different parts of an organization have different issues that are often correlated, and COBIT gives a single platform that covers all of these issues individually as well as a combined effort.
- COBIT distinguishes governance from management: The final principle is separating the governance aspect within an organization from management. Even though COBIT creates a unified space business and IT processes, IT governance is considered to be a different section altogether. It has different objectives, principles, performance metrics, and activities that need to be monitored which cannot be done effectively if governance and management are not separated.
Benefits of COBIT
COBIT helps organizations achieve optimal operational efficiency while managing governance and enterprise-wide information systems. Some of the benefits of implementing COBIT are as follows:
- It helps organizations with streamlining their strategic goals and achieving them by using the IT systems to its full potential
- It helps improve organizational and operational processes with the help of efficient application of existing technologies
- It helps maintain the quality of the information in an organization to guide better decision making in the company
- It tackles informational and other IT risk and keeps it to a minimum
- It also manages all compliance-related issues in a company and stays on top of all laws, regulations, and policies
- It also optimizes all IT services and technologies and takes a cost-effective approach to manage them
There are different levels of COBIT certifications available for individuals and enterprise teams. They tackle different aspects and grades of competency at managing COBIT within an organization. They are globally recognized and accredited certifications that will benefit both the employees and the organization.
Some of the popular COBIT 5 certifications are:
- COBIT 5 Foundation Certification Training
- COBIT 5 Implementation Certification Training
- COBIT 5 Assessor Certification Training
COBIT is a platform that unifies enterprise-wide governance with IT governance to give users a singular platform to ensure peak performance in the company. Popular IT Security and Governance certification courses are clearly the need of the hour to implement and utilize the system effectively.