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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

IT, inseparable part of good governance – Ekeigwe

For Information Technology (IT) to make relevant impact, especially economically as being predicted by experts, IT must not be separated as an element of good governance in corporate organisations.

This was the view of the Managing Director, EDP Audit & Security Associates, Mr. Chris Ekeigwe at the just concluded one-day seminar on Finance and IT organised by ICT Africa in Lagos.

Dwelling on ‘IT Governance Assurance: Roles and Responsibilities’ Mr. Ekeigwe pointed out that in order to get the needed assurances with the evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), there are best practices approach to it which must be adhered to strictly.

He said that some of the key concepts to have at the back of the mind when tinkering on transforming an organisation to have reputable good governance in this century including IT has become inseparable element of good corporate governance.

He also said that it is the responsibility of board members and executives both in business and Information System (IS) departments to uphold this concept, because it requires a top-down approach and urged senior management team to live up to the model.

Mr. Ekeigwe stressed that business objectives must be aligned to the Information System objectives in order to have effect.

He pointed out that based on the kind of signals the regulators globally are giving, to have focus on operational risk within which security and IT would be seen as very crucial.

“All major risk issues are usually caused by breakdown in internal control, oversight and information technology,” he declared.

EDP boss also noted the importance of having concern for extreme dependence of industry on IT, hence he advocated for creation of awareness among senior company officers and the need to address three technical areas and improve on them.

These, he enumerated including to authenticate, segregate and make accountable.

Mr. Ekeigwe added in a paper co-authored with Mr. Roy Hay that essentially, IT governance is about achieving the most value from technology, including moving IT toward its strategic goals, ensuring that stakeholders and management understand the key IT risks and manage them equally.

He canvassed for the establishment of conditions by firms that would allow IT management to operate effectively especially by enabling the section to have superior, effective allocation of IT decision rights.

According to him, stewardship is gradually extending to IT as boards nowadays question the depth of their enterprise’s reliance on IT.

He adduced some reasons why corporate organisations should not only invest in IT governance but must be seen to get involved that include the importance of due diligence.

“IT is critical and strategic to the businesses and expectations and reality don’t usually match,” he asserted, adding that IT has not gotten the attention it deserves because of huge involvement of investments and large risks.

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