Governance, BYOD, and the Queen Mary 2

I’m in Sydney this week with the International Standards organization working group-to promote standards for the governance of enterprise IT. In 2008, I was part of the team that developed ISO\IEC 38500:2008, the standard to promote effective, efficient, and acceptable use of IT in all organizations

Representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, US, UK, Korea, Japan, India, South Africa and the Netherlands attended the meeting, and the discussion turned to the large number of acronyms in our common vocabulary. One of the representatives mentioned “BYOD” so my hyperactive mind came up with a few definitions, including Bring Your Own….:

  • BYOD – Bring Your Own Drink

  • BYOD – Bring Your Own Dice (gaming)

  • BYOD – Bring Your Own Dessert (I like that one)

  • BYOD – Buy Your Own Drinks

Thanks to the advent of texting, acronyms have become part of everyday life. A trap for us all is the assumption that we understand what the acronym means. This is also true for terms such as “governance.”

“Governance” is often misinterpreted or confused with management activities, but that’s misguided. Governance is the purview and domain of top management and is well defined in the ISACA Glossary of terms definition as:

“Ensures that stakeholder needs, conditions and options are evaluated to determine balanced, agreed-on enterprise objectives to be achieved; setting direction through prioritization and decision making; and monitoring performance and compliance against agreed-on direction and objectives.”

In short, the governing body is not directly managing the work because it’s not their purview.

I witnessed a more practical, albeit not perfect example at the Circular Quay in Sydney harbor this morning when the Queen Mary 2 was docking. Think for a moment about how the captain works with his leadership team to govern the ship and issues directives on the route the vessel is to travel. The various teams work together to execute the directive. The captain constantly gets feedback on the position of the ship versus the directive. Should there be severe weather, the captain will evaluate the information and issue directives based on the situation.

In short, true governance is not management or execution of the tasks-it is ensuring that the performance is in line with stakeholder needs.

For those of you who would like to find out more information of the effective governance of Enterprise IT, please visit the ISACA website and look at COBIT 5, a framework for the Governance and Management of Enterprise IT.

So now that we at the ISO WG8 meeting are all in agreement on the definitions of BYOD and Governance, we can get onto the issues at hand of developing international standards. Stay tuned-it should be interesting. 

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Robert Stroud

Vice President Strategy & Innovation IT Business Management at CA Technologies
Robert Stroud is vice president of innovation and strategy for IT Business Management at CA Technologies. Rob is dedicated to the development of industry trends, strategy and communication of industry best practices. Rob is a strong advocate for the governance, security, risk and assurance communities working closely with the community to author, develop and communicate standards and best practices. Rob also advises organizations on their implementations to ensure they drive maximum business value from their investments in IT-enabled business governance. Following a four-year term as an ISACA International vice president, Rob served on the ISACA Strategic Advisory Council, and is currently serving as ISACA ISO Liaison sub-committee. Earlier, Rob served on the itSMF International Board as Treasurer and Director Audit, Standards and Compliance, the itSMF ISO liaisons to multiple working groups and spent multiple years on the board of the itSMF USA. An accomplished author and blogger, Rob is widely recognized for perspectives on industry trends. He also has contributed to multiple standards publications including COBIT 4.0, 4.1 and COBIT 5, Guidance for Basel II and several ISO standards. Rob served as an active member of the ITIL Update Project Board for ITIL 2011 and in various roles in the development of ITIL v3 including the Advisory Group, mentor and reviewer. Prior to joining CA Technologies, Rob spent more than 15 years in the finance industry successfully managing multiple initiatives in both IT and retail banking sectors related to security, service management and process governance. Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertEStroud

This article has 1 comment

  1. Love it Robert!! I recently referred to it as the “Bring Your Own Date to the Governance Dance Ball” on CA’s Smart Enterprise;-)

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