How to Sell COBIT 2019 to Your Organization

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Digital transformation has undoubtedly become an intrinsic element of modern business. The drive for digitization is the norm, not only for the sake of creating value for customers and stakeholders, but also for optimizing innovation, efficiency, risk management, and more.

‘IT Governance’ reflects the evolution of IT being a mere tool to part of the foundation for success. It focuses on aligning information technology with business goals, rather than focusing on targets related solely to development, operations, or other IT departments.

At the same time, the rate of evolution in IT in terms of technology and best practices has also increased. New developments are seemingly emerging non-stop in both the public and professional spheres, and businesses need to stay on their toes in order to keep up.

This is true even to the extent that static IT management and governance frameworks can quickly become outdated. Organizations often cannot afford to wait for IT management frameworks to be updated in line with the latest developments. Instead, it is often left up to the practitioners to incorporate changes and share their experiences with the wider community.

Luckily, all of this is reflected in the latest iteration of COBIT, ‘COBIT 2019’. This modernized and agile IT governance management framework is not just an update in terms of its contents, but also its dynamics. It offers tools, insight, and best practices that are prescriptive and designed to evolve in line with IT itself.

The core focus of COBIT remains unchanged, of course. It enables practitioners to optimize the efficiency and reliability of IT operations while also ensuring that they are as supportive as possible of business goals. It does this by helping organizations to create bespoke governance and management frameworks, with all elements of IT controlled with a high level of clarity and consistency.

Of course, COBIT is hardly the only game in town when it comes to IT frameworks. So, why invest in COBIT 2019 training? How do you convince managers and stakeholders that COBIT is right for your company?

Here are the most important advantages to keep in mind when selling COBIT 2019 to your business.

An Ever-Evolving Open Source Model

To maximize the value generated by IT, it is important to keep a close eye on changing technology and best practices. This can be essential for meeting the expectations of customers and clients, as well as discovering new opportunities to improve.

This is why COBIT 2019 was designed to be a dynamic and ever-evolving system. Unlike previous iterations, COBIT 2019 is set to be updated regularly. Changes will be based not only on the expertise of ISACA, but also the COBIT practitioner community itself: professionals who are exposed directly to changing conditions and requirements, and who can offer first-hand insight from the front lines. Their feedback will then be assessed by the COBIT Steering Committee, with any approved changes being subsequently incorporated into the wider framework.

COBIT 2019 itself is also highly modernized. For example, it can incorporate the updated versions of many IT management methodologies, including DevOps and ITIL. It also addresses changes in general IT management, such as the increased use of outsourcing, third-party providers, and even the Internet of Things (IoT).

By investing in COBIT 2019 training, you can provide your business with insight into the latest tools and best practices, as well as those that will be available in the future.

Create Your Ideal IT Management Structure…

There is no single ideal way to organize or optimize IT. The environments, priorities, and structural elements of various businesses are often simply too different for this to be possible.

However, COBIT 2019 does not prescribe a one-size-fits-all model. In fact, COBIT 2019 offers a total of 40 Management Objectives and Government Objectives. Each focuses on a different element of IT in terms of either management or business goals. This combines into an approach that, while prescriptive, nonetheless helps practitioners achieve unique results.

COBIT practitioners prioritize these objectives based on the requirements, goals, and environments of their own organizations. They then design COBIT IT frameworks that reflect their choices, creating structures that are fully bespoke. Components and design factors will also be used to sustain and improve systems over time.

…and Make it Future Proof!

Even with COBIT 2019 offering a bespoke approach, the point about IT and continuous evolution still stands. Staff and managers must be capable of proactively looking for ways to improve.

COBIT Performance Management (CPM) is a new tool that offers a systematic method for assessing the performance of IT frameworks. It takes a holistic approach, with practitioners rating various aspects of their IT structures on a scale of zero to five, with two representing the minimum acceptable level of performance.

CPM allows practitioners to highlight areas for improvement, not just once but as part of a regular ongoing process. Combined with the consistent evolution that is set to take place for the COBIT framework as a whole, this puts COBIT practitioners in an excellent position to keep their frameworks on the cutting edge.

To enable even further improvement, ISACA also specifies a number of ‘Enhancing Activities’ that can be used to enhance an organization’s implementation of COBIT 2019. They include methods such as investing in further training for certain IT and business staff, as well as stakeholders.

Guarantee Your Compliance

If you actually need to sell the importance of compliance to your business, you may want to find a new job. Regulations like the GDPR affect businesses globally, and organizations cannot afford to merely be reactive in their approach. Indeed, in order to fully ensure compliance, the necessary tools and processes must be built into a system.

This is a long-time element of the COBIT framework. COBIT 5, for example, offered strict control and monitoring elements for compliance across multiple elements of IT. COBIT 2019 recognizes a number of modern compliance standards, providing practitioners with the knowledge required to make sure they are adhered to.

Crucially, COBIT 2019 looks at compliance in terms of enterprise IT. Practitioners can make sure that compliance regulations inform policies, practices, behaviors, culture, and more. This will ensure that your business can avoid any serious fines or PR disasters resulting from an overly lax approach to security, privacy, and other key client concerns.

An Umbrella for Managing IT Frameworks

As we mentioned earlier, COBIT 2019 is far from being the only IT framework out there. In fact, there are several options available, though they often have unique purposes such as IT service management (ITSM) optimization, improving development pipelines, and so on. It is common for businesses to incorporate several at once, picking and choosing elements of different frameworks as necessary.

COBIT 2019’s ‘Tactical Design Factors’ are built to incorporate an organization’s chosen frameworks and methods. In other words, adopting COBIT 2019 will not interfere with your current practices. ISACA has even referred specifically to common elements like ITIL 4, DevOps, and Agile.

Not only does COBIT 2019 accommodate these frameworks, but it can also oversee them in a way that enables greater levels of coherence and synergy. This ensures that practitioners are constantly kept on the same page, especially given that, as we said before, COBIT 2019 was designed with the most up to date versions of these frameworks in mind.

Update Your Best Practices

COBIT 2019 is not entirely new. While it may have left its sequential titles behind, it still retains many of the elements that were present in the excellent and highly popular COBIT 5. Practitioners of the previous iteration will find that these aspects have been significantly enhanced.

For example, ‘Enablers’ are now ‘Components’, and offer a much greater level of variation. They can even be amended for specific ‘Focus Points’, such as the ever-looming presence of the GDPR. Similarly, the ‘Goals Cascade’ now has a much greater focus on governance elements, with ‘IT Goals’ having been replaced with ‘Alignment Goals’.

Communicating the value of COBIT 2019 to existing and prospective practitioners will be an important element of selling the framework. Make your audience aware of the updates, as well as the benefits of the newest version of the framework. Remember, in addition to helping improve organizations, COBIT 2019 is also highly valuable for managers and practitioners as individuals. This can create eagerness and personal investment in training that will benefit your business, particularly in terms of time spent accessing training materials and pass rates.

Related course:

COBIT, IT Governance & Compliance

COBIT® 2019 Foundation