Anyone can spot signs of bad IT governance after a nasty event when faced with running a post mortem on a failed product or service, dealing with angry customers, clearing up after a privacy breach, investigating fraud, or when called to answer litigious stakeholders and shareholders.

This blog post, using examples that I have encountered over the last week, is to help you spot the tell tale signs of bad IT governance in your suppliers, before you are faced with cutting up the company credit cards, or planning an anonymous escape to eastern Europe.

  1. The supplier’s web site is unavailable during normal business hours.
    Good IT governance requires business continuity and disaster recovery plans to cope with all imaginable (snow at Christmas) and totally unimaginable (3 consecutive hot days in July) situations. 
  2. The supplier is temporarily unable to take credit card payments.
    Good IT governance ensures that revenue channels are kept open, as a priority. If for any reason a payment gateway is down or unavailable, the expected time for it to be back should be known and communicated to customers.
  3. You receive an online bill that was destined for another customer.
    Good IT governance requires customer data to be checked and verified, before personal details are released.

There may be any number of other examples. Let me know how you’ve come across bad IT governance.

About the author

An expert in corporate governance of IT and sustainability management, Alison Holt led a group that identified market needs, assessed academic research and delivered relevant international standards. She has worked internationally in a variety of roles from systems analyst through CIO to IT director and is author of Governance of IT.