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Executive's Guide to IT Governance: Improving Systems Processes with Service Management, COBIT, and ITIL by Robert R. Moeller

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CHAPTER ONE

Importance of IT Governance for All Enterprises

COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) applications first burst into the business world primarily in the United States and Europe starting in the early 1960s. It was a new business technology then and many companies were offering competing computer hardware and software products to major corporations at that time. Companies at all levels wanted to get up to speed with this new technology, and massive investments were made in installing new systems and hiring and training the programmers and analysts to build and launch them. Despite some failures along the way, we are all using and benefiting today from these types of computer hardware and software products.

Today, IT systems supported by ever-changing and improving technologies are a major component of almost all business activities. However, our IT activities have not been supported by some of the same standards and procedures found in other business areas. For example, accounting systems and financial standards are supported by recognized accounting principles that are reviewed by independent auditors and follow governmental financial accounting rules, such as those of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. Similar best practices rules and standards exist for other areas of business activity, such as in many aspects of marketing and quality control. This is not the case for IT systems and processes. Despite the fact that IT operations are facing ...

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