Information Technology Analysis

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According to Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) the five major components of IM / IT governance are:strategic alignment, value delivery, resource management, risk management and performance measurement (ISACA, 2009). Strategic alignment: In a health care organization,suppose a hospital, strategic alignment is when the corporate business goals of the hospital and its departmental or functional goals are aligned with each other. More specifically to achieve strategic alignment, what the top management has to work upon is making a set of attainable goals and objectives and communicate them to all the subordinate department heads so that the narrowed down departmental operational goals are aligned with the more broader corporate ones. As a result when IT operations help to achieve the hospital’s overall desired strategic goals, whether they are providing best quality healthcare services to patients, maintaining healthy hospital environment, providing fast and efficient healthcare services, etc., the health care quality to the end customer (patients) will be improved. Value delivery: Values are the organization’s fundamental underlying aims and goals based on which the IT strategies, policies and plans are structured so that best possible decisions can be made to guide operations. IT governance delivers maximum value and improves healthcare quality when while making an IT based decision, the alternative with higher value is chosen. For example, one decision might increase customer satisfaction. the second alternative decision might increase hospital’s revenue while the third might increase both. Logically, the third alternative should be opted for, so quality is improved with best value delivery. Value delivery is contingent to management’s decision making. Resource management: It is quite obvious that IT departments or projects require a reasonable amount of resource investment including human resources, capital, time, space, etc. IT governance involves managing resources and making intelligent decisions so that the quality of health care is improved with optimum resource allocation i.e. getting maximum value from resources allocated at lowest cost so that healthcare is improved (Weill amp. Olson, 1989). Risk management: Risk in IT governance has three levels: innovation, agile execution and cost efficiency (Mueller et al, 2008). For an IT decision to be at its least risk so that healthcare is improved the most effective level is cost efficiency because on the scale of risk versus time elapsed, cost efficiency is when the IT decision bears least risk as compared to the other two levels. Although, it is to be noted that for every new IT project in any healthcare organization the risk level is highest if the idea is supposed to bring a strikingly abrupt change initiative. For example: shiftinga hospital’s completely manual patient-file-system to an enterprise databasewill drastically improve healthcare quality but will have high risk involved. Again, it is the management’s decision that evaluates value versus feasibility. The best decision is then, the one that maximizes value and improves healthcare quality minimizing risk to the least. Performance measurement: IT governance improves quality of healthcare when appropriate performance measures are used to evaluate whether the