Efficient and effective governance and management of IT across the organization requires that we consider many disparate but interacting components. So when we make decisions it is necessary to have as much information available to us as possible which means that we need to have a complete view of the organization – in our case specifically of the governance and management processes and structures. COBIT 5 provides some help here in the form of ‘enablers’ which are factors that influence the outcome of the governance and management activities. In fact these enablers can be taken individually or collectively to help us understand a comprehensive approach to governance and management of IT across the organisation.
Enablers are applicable across the entire organization and include all resources (internal and external) that are relevant to governance and management of information and related technology. It is worth bearing in mind that enablers include the activities and responsibilities of IT functions and non-IT business functions as well.
COBIT 5 defines seven enablers:
- Principles, policies and frameworks
- Organizational structures
- Culture, ethics and behaviour
- Services, infrastructure and applications
- People, skills and competencies
We should also remember that many of these enablers are enterprise resources that need to be managed and governed in their own right – for example people and services.
Looking at COBIT 5’s set of 7 enablers we should recognise that enablers are connected – by this we mean that each enabler needs the input of other enablers to be effective (e.g. processes need information, organisational structures need skills and behaviour). Equally enablers deliver output to other enablers, e.g. processes deliver information, skills and behaviour make processes efficient.
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