ISACA Provides Direction for Achieving Business Benefits


New Guide Outlines How COBIT Can Help

ISACA_logoGlobal IT association ISACA has laid out comprehensive strategy for how organisations can realise more robust business benefits from their technology-enabled investments.

Its new COBIT 5 for Business Benefits Realization is a practical guide that builds on the COBIT 5 framework, focuses on governance and management components of business benefits realisation, and provides direction for governance and business management experts, IT professionals and others at all levels of an enterprise.

“This publication provides valuable insights into key links that connect business benefits realisation to enterprise and IT strategy,” said Christos Dimitriadis, Ph.D., CISA, CISM, CRISC, chair of ISACA’s board of directors and group director of information security for INTRALOT. “COBIT 5’s governance and management principles can be applied in digital transformation projects and in any industry toward business innovation.”

As business leaders seek to keep pace with a rapidly evolving landscape, organisations target technology-enabled investments as the pathway to growth. The results, though, are not always as they anticipate. COBIT 5 for Business Benefits Realization points to studies showing that fewer than half of IT-enabled initiatives delivered the expected business benefits for the majority of enterprises. That can cause organisations substantial harm.

“Business benefits realisation is a requirement from stakeholders and governance bodies to ensure that IT-business activity achieves the benefits that are envisioned when key investment decisions are made,” according to the guide, which also refers to common barriers that can complicate the process:

  1. Difficulty in determining when and to what extent business benefits are realised. The time lag between when an investment decision is made and when benefits are realised can be a complicating factor.
  2. Misconceptions that business benefits realisation management is simple.
  3. The knowing-doing gap – when good management practices are known but rarely applied.

Some of the solutions include breaking down initiatives into modules, taking a realistic view of the focus required to realise benefits, and planning for extensive coordination to account for the multi-disciplinary and cross-functional nature of business benefits realisation management.

COBIT 5 for Business Benefits Realization emphasises that executive management should drive creation of the governance and management structures needed to assure that the organisation’s specific requirements for business benefits realisation are met. Major IT initiatives often fail without proper ownership taken of new policies and procedures, according to the guide.

The book outlines how COBIT 5 enables six key characteristics of business success through its governance and management processes that help optimise risk and resources. According to a recent ISACA survey, 3 in 4 users say COBIT 5 has helped them address practical business issues beyond governance of enterprise IT, and more than 90% would recommend the framework to others.

COBIT 5 for Business Benefits Realization can be accessed at Free resources include a sample business case and a checklist for creating new business cases.

ISACA ( helps global professionals lead, adapt and assure trust in an evolving digital world by offering innovative and world-class knowledge, standards, networking, credentialing and career development. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global nonprofit association of 140,000 professionals in 180 countries. ISACA also offers the Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX), a holistic cybersecurity resource, and COBIT, a business framework to govern enterprise technology.