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Dive Into COBIT 2019 Design Factors

COBIT 2019

COBIT 2019 is a comprehensive framework that integrates IT governance into organizational governance purposely to balance the benefits and risks of IT. Enterprises can utilize the COBIT 2019 framework to better plan and implement leading practices that can help to govern and manage the digital enterprise. Interestingly, COBIT 2019 framework is also flexible. This framework can be customized to suit the company's requirements. Design factors assists the customization of the governance system.

COBIT 2019 Design Factors

Design factors influence the design of a company's governance system and position it for success in the use of information and technology. Design factors include the goals cascade of a company and includes additional design factors categorized as: contextual— design factors that are beyond the company's control, strategic—design factors that reflect decisions made by the company, and tactical—design factors that are based on implementation choices regarding resourcing models, IT methods, and technology adoption choices.

There are 11 design factors in the COBIT 2019 Design Guide which are as follows.

COBIT 2019 Design Factors

3 Potential Impacts of Design Factors on A Governance System

The previously mentioned design factors influence different ways of tailoring the governance system of an enterprise. There are three potential impacts of design factors on a governance system in COBIT 2019. First, management objective priority and target capability levels. There are 40 governance and management objectives in the COBIT core model. They are all equal, and there is no hierarchy among them. Some governance and management objectives, however, may be more significant than others due to design factors.

To achieve governance and management objectives, components are required. Some design factors can have an impact on the importance of one or more components, or they can require specific changes. The last impact is specific focus area guidance. Some design factors, such as the threat landscape, specialized risk, target development methods, and infrastructure setup, will drive the adaptation of the core COBIT model material to a particular setting.

4 Critical Steps of Governance System Design

The COBIT 2019 Framework provides a governance system design workflow to be used for developing a tailored system. This workflow has several stages. The first stage is understanding the enterprise context and strategy. Understand the company's strategy, goals, and risk profile. Furthermore, company must be aware of current I&T-related issues.

The next stage is determining the initial scope of the governance system. In this stage, consider enterprise strategy, goals, and apply the COBIT goals cascade. Take into account the company's risk profile as well as existing I&T-related issues.

After that is refining the scope of the governance system. To refine the scope of the governance system, consider the threat landscape, compliance needs, IT's function, and the sourcing model. Consider IT implementation methods, IT adoption strategy, and the size of the company as well. The last stage is concluding the governance system design. Finalize the governance system design by resolving any inherent priority conflicts.


COBIT 2019 defines the design factors that should be considered by companies to build a best fit, tailored governance system. The design factors' ultimate goal is to select specific processes/content from the COBIT core model that are important, then alter and prioritize it as needed.

Improve your overall IT and business governance with COBIT 2019! It is available at Multimatics!

ISACA. (2018). COBIT 2019 Framework: Introduction and Methodology. ISACA.
Rafeq, A. (2019, February 4). COBIT Design Factors. ISACA. https://www.isaca.org/resources/news-and-trends/industry-news/2019/cobit-design-factors

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