The City of Atlanta’s vision of leveraging information technology to enhance the efficiency of government operation requires an IT oversight capability, or governance, that ensures equal and proper involvement of all areas of City government in IT investment decision making process.
"Governance" is the process of securing user input on such issues as direction, establishing priorities, reviewing technology decisions, and providing effective user communication in systems development and daily operations. The governance process is meant to involve those individuals, organizations and interests served by the technology resource in meaningful and significant participation.
The functions of Department of Information Technology (DIT) are somewhat unique when weighed against those of most departments within City of Atlanta. They encompass many technology-driven activities that, at times, more closely resemble research and development efforts than the procedural or statutory activities of a City department. DIT is founded to provide technology-based services to all elements of the jurisdiction within which it operates. Since it is service-oriented, this organization must receive continual feedback from the user community concerning direction and performance.
Because of its technical nature, provision of information technology services requires unique control methods that would normally not be applied to any other City function. These controls must ensure that the best interests of the City are served and, at the same time, ensure that the services offered to users are relevant and cost effective. This form of control is best applied through the use of an “IT Governance” structure.
To exercise proper oversight in the planning, acquisition and deployment of information technology, a three-tiered governance group has been established. The highest level is the Information Technology Sub-Cabinet. Reporting to the Sub-Cabinet is the Information Technology Committee. Reporting to the Committee are four Information Technology Functional Committees.
Through this Governance structure, along with the Annual Business Planning process, the City of Atlanta is ensuring maximum business value for its IT investments.