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IT Governance Policy Management: 3 Recommendations for CIOs

To successfully meet their compliance objective, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must implement a risk-adjusted information technology (IT) governance policy framework.  

Having good IT risk mandates in place enables you to better understand what your enterprise policies need to look like, and why. 

If done effectively and efficiently, having an appropriate framework in place in the right way safeguards your organization from risk and helps you hit established business targets with ease. 

Governance Policy

Some Key Challenges 

CIOs face many challenges when implementing a solid risk-adjusted IT governance policy framework. For example, deciding which components your IT governance policy should and should not include can be a daunting, multi-faceted task. There are many pieces to consider simultaneously, such as extracting firewall logs, addressing ISO standards, and rolling out new change management or information security policies. 

Additionally, the process of deciding which IT governance policies is valuable enough to adopt across an organization can be complex. Here, balance is a necessity. For example, having too many policies in place may overwhelm an organization. Of course, on the flip side, having too few policies in place may pose organizational risks. 

Another key challenge for CIOs is when an IT governance policy on policies is glossed over. When this happens, as a result, your IT governance policies may lack holistic alignment for users, usage, and usability. 

Three Strategies 

Ultimately, it is essential to have risk-adjusted differentiation across all principles, procedures, and guidelines. And it is critical to act on the right strategies at the right time.  

Below are three strategies CIOs can implement to ensure their risk-adjusted and integrated IT governance policy frameworks prove beneficial and valuable for their organization. 

1. Decide Which Requirements You Need

Some enterprise requirements drive business outcomes. Others do not. Adjust your framework according to desired business outcomes. This will ensure your enterprise IT assets are being used appropriately. 

Some elements of an IT governance policy management framework include: 

  • A regulator according to industry and region 
  • Laws, national frameworks, and standards 
  • Corporate principles and values 
  • Corporate policies 
  • IT principles, policies, procedures, standards, guidelines, and baselines 

Encouraging the right kind of behavior, minimizing risk exposure, and driving ongoing compliance use of IT assets must remain a critical organizational imperative. 

2. Inform Stakeholders on Policy Effectiveness

It is critical to let your stakeholders know how they can help your organization and enterprise increase the effectiveness of IT governance policies. During these conversations, it is imperative to identify which kind of engagement strategy can leverage strategic, tactical, and operational interaction in the right way. 

Your IT governance policies—or lack of them—ultimately reflect how your enterprise perceives governance, risk, and compliance. Therefore, it is important to establish a purpose for enterprise guardrails, align your IT assets to meet desired outcomes, and identify how to maintain behavior compliance tied to IT management operations. 

Key policy effectiveness goals to hit include ensuring IT principles are outcomes-focused, making sure IT standards support desired policy outcomes, and helping your employees complete required tasks while remaining compliant with policies. 

3. Ensure You Are Driving Life Cycle Development

CIOs should ensure their governance policy-on-policies document successfully sets the scene for the ongoing life cycle development of the IT policy framework and associated instruments. 

Additionally, CIOs must adopt an iterative life cycle management process. Doing so helps you assess how your IT policy instruments compare to both risk appetite and business goals. 

Learn more about how the SAI360 platform drives a unified, scalable approach to risk management here. 

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