What is IT Governance? Best Practices for London Businesses

Mar 01, 2024

IT governance is aimed at improving the overall management of information technology and ensuring any investment in technology is well spent.

IT governance frameworks enable London businesses to manage their IT risks effectively and ensure that their use of technology is aligned with the intended goals of the company.

What Does IT Governance Actually Mean Though and How Does it Work?

IT Governance is part of a wider corporate governance. This is similar to governing a country where you set the rules and regulations that your citizens should follow.

Imagine your business as a small country with you and your management team as both the heads of state and the police.

Corporate governance is basically setting the policies and rules that your staff should follow and ensuring these guidelines are adhered to.

IT governance is another branch of corporate governance, looking solely at governing or enforcing the rules and policies related to your use of information technology.

IT governance can effectively be broken down into these component areas:

  1. Value delivery
  2. Strategic alignment
  3. Performance management
  4. Resource management
  5. Risk management

Whereas previously IT governance and corporate governance may have only been relevant to larger enterprise-sized businesses, in London in the 2024 era of data protection and GDPR compliance, it could be argued that almost everyone is regulated. 

Any data breach that results in personal information being compromised or stolen could land you with severe financial penalties meaning that good IT governance is essential for any company operating out of London, the UK, or the EU. 

With similar regulations around the world affecting US markets and elsewhere, it could be said that effective IT governance is a vital component of any business, not just those operating in busy commercial areas such as London.

Top IT Governance Tips—How To Manage IT Governance Effectively 

It is easy enough to maintain that IT governance is highly important and all businesses should be considering this area of corporate governance. But what actually constitutes good IT governance and what sort of things should you be thinking about when creating your own IT governance framework for your business?

Information Technology, Key Component of the Business Strategy

SEMrush is a tool used primarily by marketing firms to audit and analyse the SEO of a site. They carried out a recent study which shows that 84% of small enterprises use at least one digital platform to share their products, with 79% of them using digital tools as part of their business.

This shows how technology has become more entrenched in the overall makeup of how businesses operate and it is important to consider this when setting out your business strategy.

IT infrastructure and IT governance frameworks should be key components of your business planning and with the marketplace in London and beyond shifting towards a high-tech economy, it is essential to have IT governance as a fundamental principle in order to compete and survive in this tech-rich environment.

Don’t Forget the Human Element

Whilst IT infrastructure and technology, in general, should be a fundamental tenet of your core strategies, this does not mean that you can completely neglect the impact and importance of the real-life humans that make all this stuff work.

The best technology and equipment are really only as good as the people who use them and assembling the right team to perform key IT governance tasks is essential.

Of course, when creating an IT department you want a team of highly qualified experts in their field. This is not the only thing you are looking for however and when assembling your dream team of IT experts it is important to understand who would be the best fit for your company.

Remember the IT department will probably at some point liaise with everybody in your company so you don’t want individuals who are going to ruffle feathers, be condescending or patronising to people with less specialist knowledge than them or hide behind the technology as an excuse for poor performance.

A good IT department should be friendly and approachable, whilst also having the specialist knowledge and innovation needed for their job roles. The right personnel will allow the technology to enhance your business, whereas others may take advantage of their subject knowledge in IT matters and use that to try and pull the wool over your eyes. 

IT specialists understand that if they claim the software cannot be ready for another 2 weeks there is nobody who knows any better and can argue the case with them. Therefore it is highly important to have honest individuals who will give you a straight answer, explaining things in normal terms and acting as more of a helpful translator or an ambassador to the tech world.

Granular Level Planning

When setting out an IT Governance framework it is important to take a very detailed look at each component of your strategy and business processes, considering all the tech-based questions that apply to every part of your company.

  • What technology, devices and software will your staff use and will they have the time and/or training to deploy them effectively?
  • Which aspects of IT governance can be handled by existing staff or IT departments and which should be outsourced to a managed service provider?
  • Who will oversee IT governance, will there be a committee set up to meet and discuss IT governance and what would be the individual roles in that committee?

These are the sort of in-depth questions that would need to be answered by the framework of IT governance within your company.

Focus on Data Protection and Compliance

One of the most valuable assets held by a London-based company is not in fact the property, equipment or infrastructure but the personal data of their customers routinely collected through many transactions with the business.

With more data being collected and processed than ever before, it is now more important than ever to ensure that a robust defence against data breaches and cyber attacks is a fundamental component to your IT governance framework.

Personal data of your customers and details about their interests and spending habits can be extremely useful for a rival firm. For this reason alone you don’t want this highly valuable asset to be easily stolen and used by a competitor to gain an advantage.

There is also a broader public image component to this equation with frequent or large-scale cyber attacks on a company damaging its reputation and the likelihood that future potential customers will entrust them with their own data. 

Added to these concerns are the severe impact and financial penalties that can result from breaching GDPR regulations related to any personal data your company is responsible for. 

It is therefore vital that London-based companies take adequate steps to ensure that data protection, cybersecurity and compliance are fundamental principles of their IT governance and business strategy.

Contact Lyon

At Lyon, we provide a range of high-tech solutions and expert personnel to help London businesses effectively manage their IT governance.

If you have any questions on IT governance, setting up a framework for your company, or which policies and technology would be most suited to your business, get in touch with our expert advisors today.

We can take you through the process, help you set your own guidelines and train staff members, or provide all aspects of IT governance as a fully managed service with dedicated professionals monitoring the business and infrastructure on a daily basis.