Successful implementation of an IT business office function will result in enhanced transparency, improved trust, joint accountability and, ultimately, alignment between IT and the business.
"Our primary objective in starting the IT business office was to help us apply the same disciplines to technology that you take for granted in running a business: establishing goals and measuring progress against them with a strong focus on the financials," says Fannie Mae's Boillat. "The end result has been far greater transparency for the businesses [than was previously possible], giving them the opportunity to direct and really own their IT spend."
The business office helps firms understand the levers available to business decision-makers to provide a degree of control over IT cost allocations. Since IT is one of the biggest costs at many institutions, this can be a significant gain for firms.
The benefits extend beyond the walls of the organization. An IT business office can enable improved communication with regulators, the board of directors and internal and external auditors. Firms can take a holistic, centralized look at the IT risk management function in response to business objectives, regulatory requirements and board directives, and demonstrate the maturity and reliability of IT processes to regulators, auditors and other stakeholders.
About the Author
Bob Reinhold is a Principal in the Financial Services Office of Ernst & Young LLP. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ernst & Young LLP.
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