There have been many variations of COBIT in the past, with each version adding some useful elements to the information technology world. For over 25 years that it has undergone its development cycle, COBIT has proved to be very valuable in optimizing efficiency and aligning IT to business objectives, as it gets updated continuously to reflect the needs of both enterprises and IT professionals. As a result, COBIT has been designed to respond effectively to evolving IT demands like the need to incorporate security checks in all its processes. The latest version, COBIT 2019 takes into consideration the opportunities and threats inherent in modern IT. An organization employing COBIT is equipped to evolve and be ready for unforeseen future changes.
● Process model. Models are core to implementing the COBIT framework in organizations as it allows users to fit in different IT activities within the organization structure. COBIT 5 assessment model includes 37 processes that apply to governance and management that practitioners can select from and customize to suit their IT environments and meet their goals. They can also employ COBIT Performance Management (CPM) to drive timely improvements to their frameworks. This model makes it easy for practitioners to identify areas in their framework that need improvement using a scoring system that scales functionality between 0 and 5 points, with 2 indicating a basic level performance.
● Best practice. In a simplified way, COBIT outlines how each process should be performed to provide a standard that helps businesses evaluate if a process is working as is required to deliver the expected output.
● Enabler tools. COBIT also provides the tools required by businesses to set clear IT goals and measure their progress using simple metrics. It also includes capability maturity techniques that define the criteria for assessing whether processes are working as expected at their maturity level.
The latest COBIT 19, for instance, has been designed to allow users to have a choice on the models, technology, and framework that they want to implement in their operations. Unlike COBIT 5, COBIT 2019 version features four domains with its guidelines taking a prescriptive direction. The four domains are:
● Introduction and methodology
● Governance and management objectives
● Designing an Information and Technology Governance Solution
● Implementing and Optimizing an Information and Technology Governance Solution
Benefits of implementing COBIT framework
As we have seen, COBIT provides a framework that businesses can implement to achieve their objectives in managing and governing their IT investments. Being a useful framework for all industries and businesses of all sizes, COBIT provides the basis by which businesses can govern and manage their IT operations bearing in mind the overall objectives and goals of the business.
● Aligns IT with organizational goals
COBIT is designed to ensure that the organization’s IT is aligned with business goals. As this is not a simple process, COBIT 5 enables organizations to integrate IT goals within the larger business goals. The role of COBIT practitioners is to ensure that IT investments support business goals through establishing controls and tools that can easily be used by IT managers. They also help businesses to fill gaps that exist in the application of information technology to achieve business goals. The latest COBIT training is designed to make professionals competent enough to meet enterprise performance goals by maximizing the value of information systems.
● Efficiency and productivity
COBIT is based on principles that are widely accepted for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of IT. As a result, the same tools and techniques can be applied across industries and organizations of all sizes for the improvement of systems and process deliveries.
This allows an organization to expand and diversify its operations knowing that the same COBIT tools and principles will apply to its operations through its growth and expansion.
● Helps organizations to comply with industry standards
Compliance with standards has become the defining factor for responsible IT management. The IT systems of enterprises need to comply with laws like the General Data Protection Act (GDPR). By implementing COBIT, an organization is sure that it is not only abiding by the industry standards but also allowing both the internal and external stakeholders to improve their skills to match the industry qualifications. Benefits of compliance for enterprises include avoiding payment of fines, enhanced information security, and privacy, reduced maintenance costs, and ultimately, enhanced customer satisfaction and value in a company’s IT services.
Technology is core to the operations of any business. The challenge, however, has been how businesses can optimize IT resources through proper governance and management and still fit into the heavily regulated IT environment. This is where COBIT comes in. COBIT has helped enterprises to improve IT service delivery while at the same time aligning IT to business needs in compliance with the laws, policies, and regulations that have been put in place.