While the connection between the worlds of business and technology is common knowledge these days, the actual role and structure of IT is still an alien concept for some. The inescapable truth is that IT plays a crucial role in enabling business processes, strategies and objectives for everything from meeting regulatory compliance standards to providing reliable support for customers. As such, failing to understand the importance of IT can leave a business highly vulnerable.
COBIT is a renowned organizational framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT. It enables businesses to achieve objectives predictably and reliably, with the support of a fully-refined (and well-understood) IT structure. The COBIT framework also offers valuable insight into the principles and enablers that go into effective IT management. At the same time, it remains generic enough that individual organizations can adapt it to suit their own unique needs.
Rather than strict rules or cheat sheets, COBIT is made up of three components:
- Process model – This allows users to understand activities relating to IT and how they fit into organizational structures. The COBIT assessment model consists of 37 processes across IT governance and management, though users are free to decide on which will suit them best.
- Best practice – COBIT offers useful guidelines on how to follow each individual process. This ensures that they can be performed in accordance with what constitutes ‘best practice’.
- Tools – In addition to establishing processes for managing enterprise IT, COBIT also provides tools to monitor resulting metrics and set meaningful objectives. It also offers capability maturity modeling techniques to help organizations assess well-used processes according to defined criteria.
What does all of this mean? Combined, these tools and techniques can ensure that your IT architecture is fully optimized, based on your own unique requirements as well as the technical capabilities of your organization.
Why study COBIT with Good e-Learning?
Regardless of your background, there are a great many benefits for studying and utilizing the COBIT methodology. However, it is important that you learn with a certified training provider, or you could risk wasting time on inaccurate materials and non-recognised certifications.
Good e-Learning’s COBIT® 5 Foundation eLearning course is fully accredited by APMG, an exam institute partnered with the creator of COBIT, ISACA. The content is also written and maintained by industry experts, ensuring that students have everything they need to pass the official exam.
The COBIT Foundation eLearning course also offers a number of add-ons, including:
- FREE exam voucher on request
- 6 months of access instantly
- 15 hours of course materials
- Quizzes and revision modules
- Official certificate of completion
- 24/7 tutor support
- The chance to become a certified COBIT practitioner
How can studying COBIT help my business?
Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get down to the real brass tacks – exactly what are the biggest benefits of studying COBIT?
Boost value of IT
The principles, tools and models offered by COBIT are recognized globally, with a huge number of case studies attesting their effectiveness in helping organizations to manage information and related technology structures. However, applying COBIT to your own business will do more than just earn you brownie points with certified practitioners: it will also raise the value and performance of your IT enterprise.
COBIT offers the chance to create a robust and reliable IT framework which will enable the deliverance and sustainability of your most important goals as efficiently as possible. This will leave your organization better-able to achieve sustainable levels of quality and profit.
While anyone can talk about the value of IT, it does not exist in a vacuum. One of the key advantages of learning and applying the COBIT framework is that it will give you the perspective to be able to align your IT goals with larger business strategies.
This kind of clear vision and strategic flexibility can be crucial for large organizations. Needless to say, these businesses are highly dependent on IT in several areas, especially as they scale up. By using COBIT, these businesses are better able to identify and close the gaps between their various departmental targets and create unified holistic roadmaps.
Improved IT governance
COBIT can be used to implement IT governance standards across an entire organization, minimizing risk and establishing effective controls for any important processes. It offers a completely holistic method for IT governance within an end-to-end business cycle.
What does this actually mean? By correctly ‘governing’ your IT, you will be able to evaluate, monitor, control and amend it with much greater flexibility. This will allow you to ensure that your IT capabilities are always optimized to meet the unique requirements and goals of your company.
Size-independent and generic
One of the key benefits of utilizing COBIT is that the tools and techniques can be applied to all businesses, regardless of their industry, sector or size. The principles will also remain relevant even as a practitioner begins to expand, shrink, diversify its offering, automate its processes, and so on.
Of course, it still takes a certified COBIT practitioner to correctly apply the COBIT framework. They will be able to pick and choose the most relevant points and tools to focus on, ensuring that no time is wasted in pursuing specific goals.
When it comes to issues of compliance, organizations must do more than just tow the line. They also need to keep meticulous evidence of the steps which they have taken in order to ensure compliance, just in case an error prompts an official investigation. Anyone who jumps into action at the last minute will be unlikely to avoid serious fines and reputational damage, so prep work and foresight are absolutely crucial!
One of the biggest topics for compliance right now is GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation enforced by the EU. Luckily, information security is a key aspect of COBIT, and by following the framework companies can ensure that their use of customer data is fully compliant with official standards.
Remember, investing in compliance is anything but a waste of money – instead, you should see it as paying for the future stability of your organization.
Meeting industry standards
‘Industry standards’, regardless of whether or not they are official, set benchmarks which companies must either meet or surpass in order to stay competitive. Following them can also be crucial for the security of internal and external stakeholders: if you cannot guarantee that your company will keep up with minimum requirements, these stakeholders may quickly lose confidence.
By adopting the standards offered by COBIT, companies can enjoy greater clarity in teaching employees to deliver top-quality work. This, in turn, will provide more support for company growth and efficiency.
Networking and reputation
COBIT, like TOGAF and ITIL, is utilized by IT and business professionals the whole world over. Becoming familiar with COBIT’s terminology and framework can, therefore, create a number of networking opportunities, not just between certified professionals but also practising organizations.
Showing off your COBIT certification can also have the knock-on effect of boosting your company’s reputation in professional circles. It shows a commitment to effective IT governance which will only grow more impressive as you continue to apply COBIT in real-life.