Anybody who has ever worked in modern IT can tell you that it’s anything but simple. Long gone are the days where IT was merely a tool to facilitate other business processes. Now, IT management and governance are essential elements of general business strategy. As such, not only do IT managers need to keep things fully optimized in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability, but they must also ensure that these efforts are fully aligned with high-level strategic goals.
However, managing and aligning all elements of IT can be more complicated than most stakeholders give credit for. Even within a single company, there will be dozens of processes and often several separate frameworks and methodologies to consider. Worse still, setups can vary considerably across different companies, creating the issue of how to manage and govern IT in a way that is not only effective but also suitably bespoke.
What is COBIT?
COBIT is an IT governance and management framework created by ISACA. Rather than a prescriptive approach for managing IT, COBIT instead offers a process for creating bespoke IT frameworks that both optimize IT operations and prioritize strategic goals. It bases these on several Governance Objectives (GO) and Management Objectives (MO) that a business can emphasize to different degrees, depending on its own requirements. COBIT can even accommodate other frameworks and approaches, such as ITIL 4 and DevOps, making it viable for almost any organization that relies on IT.
With the recently-released COBIT 2019 offering several updates on COBIT 5, as well as updated tools and insight, studying COBIT can be highly rewarding for both new and experienced IT staff. COBIT certification demonstrates a candidate’s understanding of the myriad elements of modern IT, as well as their ability to amend the COBIT framework in a way that suits a specific business.
The COBIT certification path
For those interested in studying COBIT, the certification path is fairly straightforward.
- COBIT 5 Foundation – This exam is focused on COBIT 5, an older version of the framework. It affirms that a candidate understands the principles and concepts of COBIT, as well as issues relating to IT management. Successful candidates will understand how to apply COBIT in practice and can even recommend applications and other elements that can help organizations succeed with COBIT implementation.
- COBIT 2019 Foundation – This first-level exam is based on the latest version of the framework, COBIT 2019. It focuses on updated concepts and terminology, as well as Management and Governance Objectives, the framework’s principles, systems, and components, and how all of these elements fit together in bespoke governance systems.
- COBIT 2019 Design and Implementation – This exam focuses on enterprise goal achievement and utilizing COBIT in practice. It is intended for certified and experienced COBIT practitioners.
- COBIT Bridge Workshop – This exam is designed for COBIT 5 practitioners wishing to update their knowledge. It covers the differences between the versions, including changes to key definitions, concepts, and models, as well as COBIT’s terminology.
What is the value of COBIT certification?
According to ISACA, the average salary of a practitioner with COBIT 5 Foundation certification is $114, 949. However, it is important to realize that COBIT is a comprehensive framework for IT governance and management. This makes it relevant to a wide number of jobs in both the public and private sectors. It also goes without saying that COBIT 2019 offers far more up-to-date knowledge and best practices than its predecessor, making COBIT 2019 qualifications highly desirable in a candidate.
Here are just a few examples of what qualified and experienced candidates can earn in relevant positions, according to Payscale.
- Solutions Architect – $76,000 to $161,000 in the USA, or £36,000 to £101,000 in the UK
- Information Technology (IT) Auditor – £53,000 to $106,000 in the USA or £25,000 to £54,000 in the UK
- Chief Information Security Officer – $104,000 to $278,000 in the USA or £55,000 to £162,000 in the UK