The Role of IT Governance in Engineering Firms
There’s no doubt about it – some of the greatest minds run engineering firms in the country. Engineering is a uniquely skill-based field that requires intelligent and strategic professionals at every level. However, this doesn’t mean that engineering firms are immune to challenges when it comes to IT.
However, with the right approach, IT can be structured intelligently and in a way that supports firm objectives. The secret is developing a dynamic and explicit IT governance strategy. With the right IT governance strategy in place, engineers can harness IT to help them work more efficiently, secure better business opportunities, and exceed client expectations. Wondering how to make it happen? Read on for everything you should know about IT governance in engineering firms.
First Things First: What is IT Governance?
To put it simply, IT governance allows engineering professionals to align their IT strategy seamlessly with their underlying business objectives. Deploying an IT governance strategy involves developing a formal and customized framework for managing, optimizing, and streamlining IT resources in a way that prioritizes business objectives and stakeholder interests.
A formal IT governance framework allows engineering firms to take advantage of the following:
- Dynamic alignment of IT strategies with overall business strategies
- Reliable and valuable IT delivery
- Comprehensive IT resource monitoring, management, and maintenance
- Intelligent IT performance management
- Strategic management of risk and compliance
Simply put, an IT governance strategy serves many purposes. It helps engineering firms better organize and mobilize IT resources while driving best practices and proactively mitigating risk. This makes it easier for staff members to navigate daily processes in pursuit of better supporting firm objectives. In terms of the big picture, an effective IT governance strategy helps business strategies come together more cohesively. The result? Business goals are pursued and achieved in a much more cohesive and deliberate fashion day in and day out.
Why IT Governance is So Important for Engineering Firms
We’ve laid out the basics, but let’s delve a little deeper into the benefits of implementing an IT governance framework for engineering firms. The bottom line is this: IT governance goes way beyond basic project management or IT delivery strategies. IT governance is about creating, optimizing, and strategically prioritizing a holistic and cohesive business mission. For engineers, this kind of IT governance strategy is an invaluable asset.
Engineering firms deal with a lot of data and rely on a variety of moving pieces to get jobs done. In today’s increasingly tech-centric business environment, engineering firms also rely on a variety of different IT resources – both in the office and on the job site. To make the most of these resources and optimize their mutual functionality in pursuit of business goals, engineers need an airtight IT governance strategy. Read on for some tips and tricks for tackling IT governance at your engineering firm.
Implementing IT Governance for Your Engineering Firm
Now that you’ve got an idea of what IT governance is all about and why it’s such an asset for engineering firms, it’s time to get down to the good stuff. How should you and your team go about implementing an IT governance strategy in your firm? We’ve put together five simple tips to get you started.
- Understand Your Business Goals – The first step to developing a strategic IT governance strategy is understanding your firm’s guiding business missions. What do you want your business to achieve – both in the day to day and the long term? Coming to understand the objectives that drive your business will help you create an IT governance framework that proactively propels these objectives.
- Understand Your IT Infrastructure – This one is simple: know what you’re working with. What IT resources is your team dependent on? Do you have all the resources you need to chase business goals efficiently? Are your existing IT resources organized in a coherent infrastructure? By taking stock of your current IT situation you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement and develop an IT governance strategy to address them.
- Develop IT Goals in Alignment with Business Goals – Once you have a clear understanding of your business goals and the IT resources you’re working with, set clear goals about how you want your IT infrastructure to function. Keep in mind that any IT goals you set should be directly connected to your broader business goals and should be designed to make your firm run like a well-oiled machine. When you have a set of clear IT goals that support business goals, you’ll be better prepared to draft your IT governance strategy.
- Get Your IT Governance Framework on Paper – Be sure to draft a formal and official IT governance strategy that details business and IT objectives. It should also include detailed policies and procedures that have been put in place to ensure objectives are met. By getting your IT governance strategy on paper, you’ll have a home base to work from. You can continually tweak your IT governance framework over time as business objectives change, and you’ll always have a central document that outlines your firm’s overall strategy for business and IT.
- Include Your Team – Finally, don’t hesitate to include your entire team in the IT governance project. While it may seem like IT governance should be reserved for higher ups, by including your whole team you’ll be making your expectations and objectives clear. Establish an open-door policy and encourage team members at every level to make suggestions about improving IT strategies in pursuit of business objectives. Trust us. Often it’s your frontline staff who will provide the most valuable insights regarding IT optimization.
Calling in Back Up: Why Professional Support is an IT Governance Asset
Even with these tips and tricks and mind, you might still be feeling a little lost or overwhelmed when it comes to developing a reliable and strategic IT governance strategy. We hear you. Running an engineering firm is a massive task in and of itself and IT governance can be intimidating. That’s why, we recommend reaching out to a team of IT governance specialists for support.
If you’re looking for professional help in creating a dynamic IT governance strategy for your engineering firm, be sure to find a support partner who provides:
- Clear and honest communication – The right IT governance specialist will have an open conversation with you. They’ll be committed to understanding your business goals and will demonstrate how the right IT strategies can help you reach them.
- Flexibility & above and beyond customer service – The right IT governance specialist for engineers will be committed to customization and customer service. They’ll be flexible and work to create an IT governance framework that fits your firm’s needs perfectly.
- Forward thinking strategy – The right IT governance specialist will be committed to helping your organization stay competitive and on the cutting-edge – today and in the long-term. They’ll always be a step ahead of the game, and will be willing to stay on board to provide consultation for the long-haul.
If your engineering firm is looking for support in creating an IT governance framework, we welcome you to reach out to the team of IT specialists at 360 Smart Networks. We specialize in providing reliable and strategic IT consultation for engineers, in helping them meet their dynamic business objectives. No matter the level of support you require or the budget parameters you’re working within, our team can offer consultation and support to help your firm stay streamlined and competitive. The best part? You’ll take advantage of innovative IT governance experience without breaking the bank.
Ready to have a professional at the wheel when it comes to IT governance at your engineering firm? Reach out to the team of IT governance professionals at 360 Smart Networks. We will work alongside you and your team to develop a customized IT governance strategy that helps your engineering firm thrive. Reach our team anytime at (770) 518-7087.
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Meet Our CEO Marius Nel
Marius has over 25 years of extensive technical and business managerial experience. After beginning his career in the R&D sector of mechanical engineering Marius made the switch to IT in 1996, first acting as a technical support engineer and later moving up to the departmental general manager of a large JSE-listed company. After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Marius began laying the foundation for what would eventually become 360 Smart Networks.