Guidelines for IT Governance and Multisourcing in the Networked Economy

Guidelines for IT Governance and Multisourcing in the Networked Economy

Laurence Lock Lee (University of Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-084-4.ch012
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Abstract

It is argued that the intangible elements are growing in importance as the world’s economies become increasingly interdependent. Therefore the time is right to extend IT Governance practices to incorporate the management of the intangible aspects of your business or organisation.
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It Governance Decision Making

In chapter II, the Cynefin framework for decision making was introduced and discussed in the context of IT Governance. At this point it is worth reflecting on where IT Governance decision making is at with respect to the trends identified in the preceding chapters. Part of the governance task is to be able to identify the business and technology trends that provide both threats and opportunities for the business. Early identification and action in response to such trends is therefore part and parcel of an effective governance regime. In chapter II, it was agued that current governance regimes would occupy the “Complicated” domain of the Cynefin framework. However, the trends identified in the previous chapters might indicate that the IT Governance task is rapidly moving into the “Complex” domain, as indicated in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Business and technology trend impacts on IT governance

Recall that the advice for operating in the “Complex” domain is one of probe, sense and then respond within agreed boundaries. The impact of these trends will be different, depending on the individual context of the readers. Not all organisations will be currently embedded in business networks, or have staff demanding to use their own IT resources, or at least have more say over what they are asked to use. That said, it will be difficult for any organisation to avoid the environment in which one exists. Even for organisations with successful compliance processes and highly standardised and well managed IT infrastructures, the question will always arise as to whether the organisation is really getting the best out of its IT resources. Are opportunities being missed? Will one look back and say we managed our costs effectively but missed a major opportunity to change the nature of our organisation’s value proposition? Whatever your individual situation, the business environment is becoming more complex, and governance practices need to adapt accordingly. The following guidelines should therefore be identified with “emergent practice”, rather than “best practice”. You are encouraged to probe and experiment with them. Their impact will differ, depending on your context. However, after the experimentation, take what has worked for you and turn it into good practice for you.

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Personal Network Competencies

This section is equally relevant for IT executives, managers or individual contributors. An overview of the changing competency requirements, as one moves from an internal or sole source arrangement to a multisourced, networked arrangement was provided in Chapter VI, and summarised in Figure 2.

Figure 2.

IT competency requirements

One can see that for the leader/manager the development of competencies listed on the right hand side of the table are not inconsistent with what one might expect of senior business executives in virtually any field, whether it be in the private or public sector. Effective senior executives need to be in touch with their environment, and their stakeholders, whether they be clients, suppliers, partners, regulators or the public. They therefore need to build competencies in working effectively with disparate stakeholders. What the above table suggests is that the IT executive with IT Governance responsibilities will now have to exhibit similar competencies to his or her senior business executives. This is of course a positive development, providing the opportunity for senior IT executives to move more smoothly into the mainstream executive ranks than had been the case in the past, when the IT executive roles were more technically oriented.

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