Innovation Tag

One of the most valuable assets of today’s companies have is information. As the digital era’s oil, data has become the world’s most valuable resource. However, without governing information appropriately, it can increase risk. It’s the reason why U.S. businesses spent an average of $8 million per data breach in 2018. Aligning your IT with your business strategy is essential for reaching your company’s business and financial goals and protecting its IT investments. That’s where IT governance comes in handy. IT governance is the formal foundation or core process to ensure your IT aligns with your business goals and strategy and a crucial component of corporate governance.

IT governance matters because it ensures your company is using its IT resources and assets effectively and efficiently to achieve the desired outcomes of your enterprise’s goals. It’s also crucial to implement IT governance to comply with laws and industry regulations, including privacy and data protection laws. But when you don’t update your IT governance in this age of digital transformation, you risk the protection of your enterprise’s and consumers’ data and privacy, facing lawsuits, and, ultimately, hurting your bottom line. That’s because sound IT governance prevents adverse situations, such as data breaches. Thus, it’s important to understand the principles for creating a successful foundation for IT governance.

Here are six key ways to achieve IT governance success:

1. Establish an IT Governance Mindset for the Entire Organization (Not Just CIOs)

Traditionally, IT governance has been seen as the responsibility of the CIO and executive leadership. However, IT governance success calls for a shift from CIO-dedicated ownership to ownership of a wider audience of organizational leadership. The board must determine the objectives that everyone in the organization needs to achieve. It allows for radical decision-making and is necessary for keeping pace with digital transformation.

2. Update Governance Views

A large part of modernizing IT governance requires a mind shift from enterprise leaders. That’s why it’s important that enterprise leaders update their views on IT governance. Traditionally, enterprise leaders view IT governance as a set of restrictions. But if you want to modernize your IT governance, your enterprise leaders need to think beyond restrictions. Instead, leaders need to understand that good IT governance is a digital enabler.

3. Focus on Outcomes (Not Fixed Processes)

A modern IT governance foundation considers more than fixed processes. Instead, good IT governance focuses on outcomes. That’s because outcomes provide proof. Leading digital enterprises exhibit an IT governance capability that focuses on outcomes. These outcomes require flexibility to change as often as necessary when specific situations arise. With a 47 percent hike in data breaches in the second half of 2018, ensuring the outcomes of the processes you implement is essential to protecting the business objective of securing user data and privacy. Thus, it’s critical to not only limit the focus to processes but to consider if these processes achieve the desired outcome.

4. Embrace Automation to Promote Adherence

Adhering to IT governance is a challenge for traditional IT governance compliance. It’s hindered innovation due to inefficient allocation of capital and puts enterprises at risk for falling out of compliance. However, modern IT governance leverages automation to promote governance adherence. Thus, it’s critical that your IT leadership and team takes advantage of the same technologies that are automating the workflows of businesses and apply them to IT processes. By embracing automation, you can encourage adherence to governance.

5. Customize IT Governance

Each company’s goals and needs differ. Moreover, time, industry trends and economic factors can change the business’ goals at any time. When this occurs, an outdated IT governance framework may not achieve your current, specific goals. That’s why it’s vital to customize your IT governance to your company’s current and unique needs.
There are several governance frameworks that leaders update to address the needs of the enterprise. Some of the common frameworks for IT governance include Factor Analysis Information Risk (FAIR), COBIT, COSO, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and ITIL. While these frameworks provide a foundation for establishing objective measurements and outlining important factors that take into account stakeholders interest, it’s important to choose a framework that works for your business’ needs and adjust the framework as the need arises.

6. Adjust Governance More Often

Modernizing IT governance requires adjusting the framework more frequently than in the past. While experts note that no formula exists that dictates the best times to refresh your governance program, they do advise adjusting your program whenever your organization evolves or its principles change. Facebook had to adjust its IT governance structure after the Cambridge Analytica data leak. From promising to cut off dormant apps from accessing user data to disclosing information about advertisers, the social media tech company has moved to adjust how it handles data governance to provide transparency for its users and protect user data.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that IT governance is a crucial part of any modern company in today’s digital era. But if you want to modernize IT governance, you have to put a few effective strategies in place. From extending the responsibilities of IT governance from CIOs to IT leaders to adjusting IT governance frequently, there are several key strategies you can implement to update your IT governance program. By using these key principles, you can set up your IT governance framework for success.

Three ways to know if agile marketing is right for your business

With the growing competition in the marketplace, brands from every sector are looking for new ways to be innovative and rise above the fray. Innovation means not only a willingness to implement change but also an openness to trying new approaches to doing business.

For marketers, this can be exceedingly challenging. Marketing professionals in top businesses across the globe are constantly keeping tabs on changes in their industry and working to identify new ways to get ahead of the competition. This includes studying marketing trends, analyzing the wealth of data that is currently available about consumers, and tapping all available resources to launch new marketing campaigns.

With the highly competitive nature of today’s global economy, it’s difficult to know what strategies can help your business beat the competition. That’s why marketing professionals are turning to agile marketing. This concept, which was born in the information technology industry, has implications for the business world. Agile marketing offers a new way of thinking about business, with concepts that can be applied across the organization to produce better outcomes.

If you want to know if agile marketing is a good fit for your business, take a look at your company and ask yourself these three questions.

How easily does your business respond to change?

While many marketers rely on techniques that are tried and true, this method calls for something entirely different. To take advantage of agile marketing, companies need to monitor the success of their business activities and be prepared to change. This method of marketing calls for validated learning over conventional thinking, prioritizing the kind of customer engagement that has the data to back it up. You’ll need to create marketing plans for both the short-term and the long-term, as well as the middle ground, and make adjustments as you go, using the insights gained from digital marketing analytics.

Agile marketing is best when teams can be flexible in their marketing work and quick to adapt. There is still a role for managers to play, but the business will need to be flexible in order to accommodate changing priorities. With this approach, small marketing experiments can take businesses further than large initiatives that can’t be adjusted down the road.

Can your team identify and adapt to customer desires?

At its heart, agile marketing is about putting the customer first and responding proactively to the changing habits and desires of consumers. This means you’ll need to view your relationship with customers as a collaborative one, where their input on your products, services and marketing efforts hold just as much weight as the expert opinions on your own team.

By implementing agile marketing, you’ll be able to discover a clean customer profile and learn a lot about what consumers want from your company. This will take a higher priority than business predictions, because the marketing method centers on meeting customer needs and adapting the marketing to better suit the customer. This could mean changing marketing and media platforms, using more direct campaigns, adding value to products and services, or adjusting your business plan to suit consumer needs. It may also mean new processes, evaluations and surveys, and reiterations of existing business marketing strategies. They key is to keep the changing desires of the customer at the center of the work you do.

What resources within your organization can support agile marketing?

Before you begin the journey into agile marketing, ask yourself if your business is ready for agile marketing. Take a look at the leaders and teams within your organization, and determine whether they adapt well to change and whether they have the tools they need in order to make major adjustments. Managers and marketing professionals at every level will need to feel empowered to respond to customer opinions, and your business will need to have a high degree of flexibility in order to make agile marketing work.

As a team, you will still need a strategic vision, but you should plan to revisit the vision at each major milestone, in order to determine whether the new strategy is working. You’ll also need to make sure you are properly staffed to handle frequent releases of updated products, services or materials. Your team should be prepared to work collaboratively and with a high degree of respect for one another, while also moving through several learning cycles in order to find out what tactics are most effective. You’ll also need to have team members on staff who can provide support, provide a thorough understanding of data analytics, and keep in frequent contact with the customer. The data will help reveal possible steps forward and the customer feedback will tell you if you’re new approach of agile marketing is working for them.

Agile marketing calls for flexible leadership, business and marketing innovation, and a commitment to the customer, all driven by data and evidence of changing trends. It will require constant change, reliable problem-solving, and agility from the entire team. The end result for teams who can successfully implement agile marketing is a competitive advantage that is unique to the company, which will lead to enhanced customer appreciation and loyalty.