Good business requires good governance – and a good ERP system. It’s not just for corporations with boards of directors either; governance refers to how you decide to operate and oversee your business. It’s your best safeguard against poor practices that may harm your customers, your staff or your reputation. And it helps your business to become profitable, responsive and customer-focused.
Governance and ERP are critical for every business, yet governance is ultimately a matter of culture. Whether you’re a sole operator or a growing empire, it’s essential that all team members clearly understand your mission and values. They’re crucial because they are – or should be – your business’s ‘north star’. Whenever questions arise over customer service, product development, project priorities or new investments, your values hold the answer.
We’ve seen the business impacts of poor governance in recent years, in Royal Commissions and corporate failures. So how do you ensure your organisation is on the right track?
Leadership is the key to governance
In any organisation, leaders must lead. That is, they should not only embody the organisation’s values in their behaviour; they must be seen to do so. If the boss is careless with security, doesn’t think much about customers and treats staff poorly, the organisation will suffer.
But it’s not only a matter of behaviour or problems for the human resources team. Especially in today’s digital world, business leaders must model the security practices they expect from others.
By creating a security-conscious, risk-aware culture, you can reduce your business’s overall risk profile. Governance considers all business risks, from IT and security to competition, local and international politics, economic and demographic changes, climate change and more.
Data governance and IT security
Governance and ERP systems play a critical role in data governance and security. Establish practices and procedures around data security – and enforce them. From password selection to multi-factor authentication, there are plenty of measures that are simple to deploy and unobtrusive to use.
You also need to know what data you hold and any requirements around data sovereignty, storage and other requirements. Customer data is particularly sensitive, and businesses need to consider, and comply with, various local and international regulations.
One example is the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR imposes requirements on how businesses handle EU citizens’ data regardless of location. The fines can be considerable, and all companies that serve EU citizens must comply.
Closer to home, in Australia, the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme also imposes obligations on businesses. If you suffer a data breach, you must notify any affected individuals as soon as possible.
It’s your responsibility to understand and meet all your obligations. Good governance practices can help ensure that you’re on top of all relevant requirements.
ERP and governance
As noted, governance and ERP are critical for every business. That’s because, as your enterprise resource management (ERP) system likely holds a wealth of potentially sensitive data, it’s an integral part of your governance scheme. That makes it critical to ensure that configured appropriately and securely.
Ideally, your ERP system will integrate closely with your other business systems, as this will improve security and simplify governance and operations. We recommend a modern solution with robust information-sharing as well as information-security capabilities.
The benefits of good governance
As noted, good governance has many benefits. If you have can clearly articulate your company’s values and mission, then you can ensure it operates and is governed, accordingly. As a result, you should see benefits such as:
- Reduced business risk
- Reduced IT and security risks
- More responsive operations
- Better customer experience
- Enhanced reputation
- Business intelligence
- New business opportunities
These last two are worth mentioning. One of governance’s great benefits is its ability to help you uncover new business intelligence and new business opportunities. If customer data is handled appropriately, then you can use analytics to help generate business-enhancing insights. And if staff and leadership are in tune with their organisation’s values, then these insights can be evaluated to improve and expand the business.
When it comes to governance, a little goes a long way – how much have you got? If you’re not sure, or if you’d like to learn more about how good business and IT governance can help your organisation, we’d love to help.