IT executives are responsible for making decisions that are crucial to overall enterprise success. Because they play such a central role in corporate success, it’s essential that these key team members understand how to best guide their departments. In today’s digital business environment, that means understanding the differences between IT governance and IT management. When it comes to Microsoft software management, audits and big buying decisions, understanding how to align these two functions is a must.
What is IT Governance?
According to the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), IT governance can be defined as “a framework for decision rights and accountability to encourage desirable behavior in the use of IT.” In this sense, governance can be described as strategic. Actors who are in charge of IT governance are making the big, policy-related decisions that will drive daily behavior in their departments.
Think of governance as guidance and steering. In order to govern well, IT leaders must meet with key enterprise stakeholders to determine how the IT department can support overall business objectives. Then, IT executives must set priorities, policies and programs that will help employees at all levels meet these goals. Governance covers everything from determining what role technology will play in shaping employee interactions to setting individual use policies that support corporate goals.
For example, executives in charge of governance are responsible for steering Microsoft software management. They determine the design of a company’s overall software budget and set priorities for software acquisition.
What is IT Management?
In contrast to IT governance, MIT’s CISR defines IT management as “the daily decision making and implementation activities around the firm’s use of IT.” In this sense, management can be described as tactical. Governance sets the strategies for organizational success, but daily management makes use decisions that support those strategies. Actors who are in charge of IT management are responsible for ensuring that the decisions they make uphold department and enterprise objectives.
Think of management as oversight and implementation. Where governance sets policy, management finds realistic ways to deploy and enforce policy across an organization. IT managers are responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day work of their direct subordinates aligns with company goals and provides the tools that employees across the organization need for success. Management covers everything from helping employees troubleshoot issues to enforcing policies governing the use of enterprise technology.
For example, IT professionals in charge of management are responsible for ensuring that software policies are followed. They are responsible for monitoring employee software use to ensure compliance in case of a Microsoft software audit.
Understanding How Management & Governance Converge
While IT governance and management are separate responsibilities, it’s essential that the leaders in charge of these functions work together closely. Governors and managers collaborate to ensure that their strategies and tactics are compatible. Remember that MIT’s CISR discovered that enterprises with strong governance and implementation have significantly higher profits than their competitors.
Whether it’s a Microsoft license audit or a system-wide security review, strong IT governance sets the tenor for success and ensures that everything your IT department does meets with wider corporate objectives. Of course, even the best governance and management can’t prepare your enterprise for every challenge that a Microsoft software audit brings.
Working with a third party can be a great way to meet governance goals while protecting company assets. Earth & Sky Inc. has deep experience partnering with IT leaders to ensure that software use and purchasing meets wider corporate objectives. Get in touch with us today if you need help with a Microsoft license audit, renewal negotiation or other crucial governance task.