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Straight to the Top: CIO Leadership in a Mobile, Social, and Cloud-based World, 2nd Edition by Gregory S. Smith

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CHAPTER 3

IT Standards and Governance and the Impact of Consumer Devices

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

—Thomas Jefferson1

In the first edition, I talked about the importance of IT governance as well as the style and domains I've leveraged for the past 15 years of my career. The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) states that IT governance is “the responsibility of the board of directors and executive management.”2 Some organizations include the CIO in executive management, while others do not. I believe that IT governance is a responsibility of the board as a byproduct of risk management and that it is directly the CIO's responsibility to define and implement an institution's IT governance framework.

IT Governance and Its Benefits

ITGI defines governance as “the leadership and organizational structures and processes that ensure that the organization's IT sustains and extends the organization's strategies and objectives.”3 Two IT governance experts, Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross, defined IT governance more simply as “the decision rights and accountability framework for encouraging desirable behavior in the use of IT.”4 They described the following five key areas in the framework:

1. IT principles
2. IT architecture
3. IT infrastructure for shared IT services
4. Business application requirements for each project
5. IT investment and prioritization5

The benefits of governance ...

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