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Governance a Critical But Often Overlooked Component in IT Operations

April 20, 2016

In the never ending struggle to keep up with the latest technology trends, ensure workers are happy and fulfill internal IT objectives, one of the concepts that often gets pushed to the side is governance. When an organization fails to look at the entire picture with regard to its IT processes and assets, governance falls by the wayside and operations and management often fail to meet larger core objectives.

While most companies are cognizant of the fact that they aren’t optimizing governance and management of their assets, taking action to get on top of the situation is another matter. According to a recent blog post from Flexera, a company specializing in software governance and optimization, governance is a critical part of software asset management and can play an important role in achieving optimum cost savings and efficiencies.

Governance, the set of processes designed to ensure effective and efficient use of IT to enable a company to achieve its business goals, can ultimately lead to improvements in the cost of software licensing. Flexera believes these improvements may include the measurement of application usage, improved reporting, optimized procurement, risk reduction related to software vendor audits and enhanced vendor management.

But governance also brings with it extra overhead in the form of added regulatory, operational and security processes. These items can be disruptive, at least during implementation, and also run the risk of adding additional costs. Striking a balance between implementing an efficient governance plan and keeping costs and disruption to a minimum is critical.

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the market for enterprise governance, risk and compliance will reach $31.77 billion by 2020, up from nearly $16 billion last year. According to the research firm, the challenge in countering data breaches and compliance violations will be a major market driver, along with a need for businesses to re-evaluate their IT architectures and assets and come up with comprehensive management plans and rules that support their core objectives.

How they will achieve this massive undertaking is another matter. Flexera says governance is typically implemented through new and updated policies, along with procedures and guidelines that address a number of parameters and challenges. These include defining key performance indicators; coming up with asset procurement guidelines; managing vendors; defining how end users will access hardware and software resources; managing the software maintenance and contract renewals process; and examining an organization’s asset management lifecycle.

End users also play a key role when it comes to designing and implementing governance. The way in which workers and teams receive inputs and work instructions as well as how those requests are managed is a critical operations component, and therefore a key factor in governance. Ultimately, when new rules and processes are implemented, end users will be the deciding factor when it comes to measuring the success and effectiveness of management and governance.

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