Why IT Professionals Should Implement IT Governance

Considering how to best manage IT helps improve performance, manage risk and meet regulatory requirements.

Stacey Farrar, Product Marketing Manager

March 8, 2024

5 Min Read
IT governance
Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock

There's no crystal ball that perfectly predicts the future. It's not too difficult, however, to see that four major trends will shape the IT landscape. No matter the industry, IT professionals will be dealing with issues and concerns around cybersecurity, cloud adoption, accelerated migrations and remote and hybrid work.

How do IT teams get a handle on these trends? There's a common factor that will help you and your team prepare for the future: IT governance.

Let's dive a little deeper into how IT governance can position your organization to compete effectively, invest IT resources strategically and lower its risk profile.

Cybersecurity Challenges

Cybersecurity risks have continued to grow. According to Verizon's "2023 Data Breach Investigations Report," (registration required) the median cost of ransomware attacks doubled to $26,000 over the last two years. Nine out of 10 attacks cost victims more than $1 million. And with remote working and the cloud playing an ever-increasing role in the way we do business, organization's attack surfaces, too, are expanding.

Given this trend, IT governance is more important than ever. Proper governance reduces the risk of cyberattacks by defining cybersecurity policies and standards. It sets guidelines for data protection, access controls, encryption, incident response and regulatory compliance.

Comprehensive governance includes regular risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies. Risk vectors can include third-party vendors and partners. A startling 98% of organizations throughout the world are connected to at least one third-party vendor that suffered a data breach within the last two years.

Vulnerabilities are not solely structural. Three-fourth of 2023's breaches were due to human elements, either simple errors, privilege misuse, stolen credentials or social engineering. This is why training and awareness programs play such a crucial role in IT governance plans.

Cloud Adoption Keeps Booming

According to International Data Corporation, businesses will spend upwards of $1 trillion on cloud services in 2024, maintaining the industry's stunning double-digit compound annual growth rate. IT governance plays a crucial role in successful cloud adoption, creating a framework for decision-making, risk management, and alignment with business goals.

One of the most important roles of IT governance is ensuring that your organization's cloud adoption closely aligns with its overall business goals. Good governance provides you with a framework for evaluating factors like scalability, cost-effectiveness and agility.

A thoughtfully crafted governance plan will help you find the right cloud partners. Frameworks with specific criteria can help evaluate cloud service providers and ensure that vendors meet your organization's security, privacy and compliance standards. This includes assessing each potential vendor's capabilities and risks, as well as defining service-level agreements.

Cloud adoption comes with new services, workflows and overall culture. IT governance can help everyone in your organization — from leadership to front-line workers — painlessly adopt these new practices and tools. A good governance plan lays out a road map for change management, which can include training on specific cloud services and larger cultural shifts around access and workflows in a new environment.

Accelerated Migrations

Migrations are only accelerating. Since 2021, nearly 70% of companies have advanced their cloud migrations. "Experts expect that the percentage of companies with most or all IT infrastructure in the cloud will jump from 41% to 63% in the next 18 months,” writes Channel Futures. In the midst of such change, IT governance is the necessary map to help organizations streamline the migration process and mitigate risk and potential business disruptions.

Among the risks is cloud misconfiguration. Misconfigurations in cloud environments are not only common, but they introduce massive amounts of security risk. Governance can help IT teams mitigate these risks by providing the framework for well-designed, regular reviews to assess misconfigurations and risk levels. This same framework provides guidance for how to proceed once those risks are detected.

At the same time, well-crafted IT governance will align the migration with your organization's strategic goals, ensuring it improves efficiency, reduces costs and meets regulatory requirements. With good governance, your company can be sure that the migration has the necessary resources. This includes things like using the correct migration tool, additional expertise when necessary, and infrastructure upgrades. After the migration is complete, your governance plan should lay out how you will conduct various tests — performance, compatibility, and security — to make sure the migration is smooth and successful.

Remote and Hybrid Work Will Grow, as Will Risk

The last three years have fundamentally changed how we work, with remote and hybrid models increasingly becoming the norm. By 2025, in fact, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely. This new way of working comes with risks.

"The rise in remote work has opened up more opportunities for bad actors to strike," Bob Maley, CSO at Black Kite, has said. "Remote employees are usually operating on public, accessible networks where hackers are able to gain easy entry."

This is where IT governance becomes essential. It provides the framework, infrastructure and policies to support secure remote and hybrid work models, including tools such as VPNs, collaboration software, secure access to company systems and cloud-based services. Governance does all of this while ensuring all these tools and users are aligned with the organization's security and compliance standards.

IT governance can help ensure that remote workers have the tools they need. But more importantly, governance helps all employees understand how to use tools effectively and securely. Your IT governance framework should establish and define security protocols for remote access, encryption standards, MFAs and other secure network connections. Policies need to make clear to the entire organization what constitutes acceptable use of technology, how to handle data and how to report incidents of security breaches and data leaks.

Given the challenges and opportunities of 2024, developing a comprehensive IT governance plan for your organization is essential. Even as everything around you is changing, good IT governance creates a clear path forward.

About the Author(s)

Stacey Farrar

Product Marketing Manager, BitTitan

Stacey Farrar is a product marketing manager at BitTitan, where he oversees go-to-market strategy and product messaging for MigrationWiz. His areas of expertise include cloud automation, SaaS, product marketing and management, digital marketing, customer engagement and business development.

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