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Governing the Infrastructure.

David A. Kelly

The Future is Here--Planning for Governance Now

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It's clear that in terms of the rubber meeting the road, the future is here. 2009 is not 2007, 2006, 2005 or even 2008. Instead of solid growth (except for the disastrous second half of 2008) that we've seen over the past few years, 2009 is going to be very turbulent year. And while we may end up with some growth (compared to the end of 2008), I'm pretty sure we'll see a lot of ups and downs this year.

So how is IT going to be impacted? I think in a number of ways. Of course, IT organizations will have to make due with less while doing more--although that's pretty much the norm these days. Where we're going to see the real change is on the investment and resource side--IT organizations are going to be hard pressed to justify large-scale investments in systems, applications or additional resources given the turbulent state of the economy and uncertainty over future business needs. Instead, I predict that many IT organizations will be told to make existing systems work. Think of it as a "chewing gum and baling wire" type of plan for the foreseeable future.

However--things will eventually turn around, at least for some companies. That might be Q2 or the second half of 2009 (or perhaps, even beyond). But when they do, IT organizations need to be ready to respond. Because when IT finally gets the green light to start investing again, they'll already be behind the curve, since businesses are going to be very conservative, holding back on investments until that last possible minute. That will eventually put the maximum amount of stress on the IT organization as it scrambles to meet a backlog of new projects and new capacity requirements.

So what does this all mean from a governance perspective? At one level, I believe we'll see IT organizations holding off some on governance (and perhaps all) investments, so there will potentially be a more limiting growth of governance tools--but that might not mean it's not a good time to invest in governance, if we're not talking about investing money. In fact, the first half of 2009 may be the perfect time for IT organizations to take some time and re-evaluate their overall IT governance and SOA governance plans, strategies and tactics. Perhaps with fewer new systems being deployed, IT organizations can take some much needed time to step back and evaluate governance processes, identifying ways to optimize governance practices with an eye toward the future, when the floodgates get opened and a whole set of new business requirements, applications or services will need to be deployed.

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Great article on the future of IT Governance. Given the state of the economy and the ongoing Insider Threat, I too think this is the perfect time for IT organizations to focus on auditing existing processes, documenting best practices, and strengthening internal controls.

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David A. Kelly's blog explores how organizations can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their business processes and IT infrastructure through proper governance.

David A. Kelly

David A. Kelly is a monthly columnist and Blogger for ebizQ. View more

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