Industry body calls on CEOs for better IT governance

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, December 05 - 2006 @ 09:31

The organization is celebrating its 10th Anniversary by holding a regional conference on 7th December, (Dhow Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai) followed by a gala dinner (7pm onwards, at Park Hyatt Hotel, Creek Golf Club, Dubai).

Calling for a better understanding of IT governance issues and an increase in resource allocation for this critical function, ISACA has urged business and government leaders to recognize the importance of IT governance as an integral part of the broader corporate governance framework. “Enterprises are increasingly dependent on their IT systems, their alignment with business objectives and adequate controls for business success,” said Saji P. Oommen, President of ISACA UAE Chapter. “If we do not harness and exploit IT to deliver business value, enterprises will be exposed to business losses, damage to reputation and a weakened competitive position. If top management in companies across the Arabian Gulf do not implement sound IT governance and give it the highest importance, they may face grave threats to their existence.”

In a survey on IT governance published by Deloitte & Touche in 2005 on companies in the UK, it was found that top management is increasingly involved in decisions about IT, including its alignment with business goals, measurement of business results and controls. “In the Middle East, we still find resistance to change and relegation of the IT related decisions to junior management,” said Bharat Raigangar, Membership Director at ISACA. “This exposes regional businesses to serious risks. We all remember the collapse of Barings Bank, which was essentially due to a lack of controls to prevent willful fraud. Such incidents have created widespread global understanding of risks of bad IT governance – let us not wait for this to happen here before we wake up.”

In another survey by IT Governance Institute (ITGI) published as Global Status Report 2006, it was found that 87 percent of the respondents considered IT quite to very important to the delivery of corporate strategy and vision. For 63 percent of the respondents, IT is regularly or always on the board’s agenda. “This just shows how CEO’s globally are responding to this challenge, which is both an opportunity and a threat,” added Oommen. “We just cannot ignore IT governance as a minor issue any more.”

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Tuesday, December 5- 2006 @ 9:31 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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