Small and Medium Enterprises Seeking to Start a Governance Program Get Tailored Road Map in New COBIT Resource OutBuro lgbtq business owner entreprenuer networking online community

Small and Medium Enterprises Seeking to Start a Governance Program Get Tailored Road Map in New COBIT Resource

SCHAUMBURG, Ill–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The benefits of good governance systems are widely acknowledged, but often governance programs at smaller organizations are nonexistent or immature. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) often deal with constraints such as limited IT resources and smaller budgets, and may have unique needs for their core business and priorities. A new guide from global technology association ISACA, COBIT® for Small and Medium Enterprises, provides guidance for SMEs on developing an enterprise governance system for information and technology (I&T) tailored especially to their unique needs.

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COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises explains the core model and components of the globally recognized COBIT framework, illuminates the key governance and management objectives that are most relevant to SMEs, and walks SMEs through the fundamentals of starting and implementing an I&T governance program. It also provides detailed COBIT guidance specific to SMEs by domain, objective, component, activities, capability levels and metrics. In addition, the guide features mechanisms to help a SME including a governance system design workflow, a suitability assessment, COBIT goals cascade mapping tables, a practical example with detailed steps, and descriptions of SME roles and organizational structures.

“There is no magic formula for all small and medium enterprises to follow when it comes to developing an I&T governance system,” says Lisa Villanueva, ISACA IT Governance Professional Practices Lead. “However, by using tailored resources and a governance system design workflow, SMEs can thoughtfully develop an actionable road map for developing a governance system that can help guide them through the process and ultimately help them design and implement a system tailored especially to their needs.”

Some of the activities outlined in the detailed guidance include:

  • Evaluate the governance system—Consider external regulations, laws and contractual obligations and determine how they should be applied within the governance of enterprise I&T.
  • Understand enterprise context and direction—Develop and maintain an understanding of the current way of working: the operational environment, the enterprise architecture (processes, data, applications and technology domains), organizational culture, and current challenges.
  • Initiate a program—Appoint a dedicated manager for the program, with the commensurate competencies and skills to manage the program effectively and efficiently.
  • Monitor, control, and report on the program outcomes—Manage program performance against key criteria (e.g., scope, schedule, quality, benefits realization, costs, risk, velocity), identify deviations from the plan and take timely remedial action when required.

COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises is geared toward organizations with up to 250 full- time employees, in which 30 to 70 employees work with IT systems and services, including business managers, professional staff, IT managers, quality or security professionals, and internal auditors. The guidance reflects that enterprises of this size may have limited in-house IT skills and/or capacity, lack complex IT infrastructure, tend to be cost conscious, have a short span of control, and may need to outsource more complex tasks.

COBIT for Small and Medium Enterprises can be downloaded at https://store.isaca.org/s/store#/store/browse/detail/a2S4w000004L2noEAC. Additional COBIT resources and publications can be found at www.isaca.org/resources/cobit.

About ISACA

For more than 50 years, ISACA® (www.isaca.org) has advanced the best talent, expertise and learning in technology. ISACA equips individuals with knowledge, credentials, education and community to progress their careers and transform their organizations, and enables enterprises to train and build quality teams. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. In 2020, ISACA launched One In Tech, a philanthropic foundation that supports IT education and career pathways for under-resourced, under-represented populations.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ISACANews
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/isaca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ISACAGlobal
Instagram: www.instagram.com/isacanews

Contacts

Emily Van Camp, evcamp@isaca.org, +1.847.385.7223

Kristen Kessinger, communications@isaca.org, +1.847.660.5512

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Isobar Public Sector Launches Minority-Owned Business Incubator

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DEI–Isobar Public Sector, a dentsu international company, announced today the launch of a new minority-owned business incubator with Maryland-based firms. The goal of the partnership is to provide black-owned, 8a and minority-owned small businesses with technical support and resources to accelerate their operations, growth and go-to-market efforts in the public sector.

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The program is part of Isobar Public Sector / Merkle and dentsu’s Economic Empowerment initiative. The firm has partnered with Maryland Black Businesses Matter organization, founded by Gregory Holmes, to identify black businesses currently working with U.S. federal, state and local governments. Following an initial matchmaking session, participating firms determine the type and level of support required. This may include business development, capacity building, proposal support, marketing efforts and/or administrative support.

“With this program, our goal is to make a difference for these firms and collectively improve not only their bottom line but also the careers and opportunities for both existing and prospective employees,” said Larry Gillespie, president, Isobar Public Sector. “Although we’ve just started, I’ve been amazed at the talent and creativity of all the firms. We are extremely fortunate to be working with Gregory, who brings a ton of passion and energy to the growth of black businesses in Maryland. This isn’t a typical mentor-protégé arrangement but a true collaboration. In fact, I find that it’s the larger firms in the relationship, like Isobar, that often learn the most.”

Collectively, the companies share a common focus and mission in delivering digital transformation, IT modernization and program management for government agencies. The collaboration often includes support of business development activities, proposals, white paper development and other activities. These efforts are supported by dentsu’s Global Technology Alliance partners, including Qualtrics, Salesforce, Adobe, Amazon, Google Global Technology practice and others.

Read the full press release here.

About dentsu:

Part of the dentsu group, dentsu international is made up of six leadership brands – Carat, dentsuX, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen, Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. dentsu international helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM, and creative, dentsu international operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 45,000 dedicated specialists. Visit www.dentsu.com.

Contacts

Press:
Jennifer Ferguson

Chief Communications Officer, dentsu Americas

Jennifer.fergsuon@dentsu.com

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LGBT Home-based Business Startup Productivity Tips

Some LGBT Entrepreneurs running a home-based business are skilled at juggling social life, dating, family life (life-partner, children, extended family) with work-life all while finding time for fitness. How do they do it? Dedication, structure, and a little self-forgiveness goes a long way.

Understand the challenge

It’s no easy task to juggle all facets of a modern LGBT active life with the time and effort required to run a business.  That’s particularly true if you have had a lot of demands, unexpected life hiccups and believe you have to be perfect in all things and to everyone at all times.  LGBT people are so used to being judged that we tend to overtax ourselves.

If you want your startup home-based business to succeed, it takes communication, planning, hard work, compromises, and the right attitude.

Get the timing right

The demands of work are very different to those of social and family.  Add children to the family makeup and they naturally require a tremendous amount of time and attention. All can be exhausting but in different ways.

Your startup business requires a keen focus on analytical behavior, thinking strategically and logically.  Looking after children also requires some strategy, of course. But it’s usually more free-form behavior, with less emphasis on deadlines and detailed schedules.  Add extended family and perhaps caring for an ill or disabled family member or other such family requirements needing your time and attention and it can be all to easy to get sidetracked tending to the home and the needs of others.  If no family members are in your mix, maybe it’s your life partner or your active dating habits and mingling strategy that turns you from a business laser to non-business fidgety.

Switching between these two modes of thinking can be tiring, stressful, and extremely unproductive.

The key is to be realistic with yourself and others.  Set house rules that include your workspace and privacy while still allowing you to be accessible in emergencies.  Be sure to define what an emergency is as well.

Starting a business typically requires much more effort, energy, and hours to get started and run in the early period than going to a job 30 – 40 hours a week working for someone else.  Do your life and extended relationship circumstances allow you the time right now in your life dedicated to a new home-base startup business?  Be realistic while still stretching yourself to reach your goals.

Are young children in your life?  Many successful entrepreneurs take time off to concentrate on their young children for the first few years. Then they return to the world of work – refreshed and ready to succeed.

If you find yourself under-stimulated and desperate to get back to work, then that might be the right thing for you. And if your kids are happy to be left in the care of others, then this is less likely to cause them stress.

If you’re not sure, start small until you’re confident you can balance the demands of a home-based business with your children’s needs.

2. Deal with distractions

You will be distracted when you work from home. You may be putting the finishing touches on a business proposal when your daughter bursts in with a grazed knee. Or you’ll be updating your accounts when your son opens the door and asks you to help color in a picture.

Knowing that this is likely to happen can help you prepare for it:

  • Block out times in your work schedule when your kids aren’t around. Use this time for detailed work that requires concentration.
  • Have a list of short, easy, admin jobs that can be done while your children are around. This should be work that doesn’t require a lot of thought.
  • Get some shared office space if your budget and time allow it. If nothing else, getting out of the house and going to an office can make you feel more professional and help you focus. And there’s the added bonus of making new contacts.

3. Divide your hours fairly

There will be times when your business needs you, and times when your children do. It can be tempting to think that your business is more important, but that’s rarely true. Emails may be marked “Urgent!!!” but in the long run they aren’t as important as your children’s development.

So be fair. Separate work time and family time, and stick to this rigidly. The actual division will depend on your goals, but here are some suggestions:

  • Work from the morning school drop-off until the afternoon pick-up, then stop.
  • Don’t work on weekends.
  • Maybe work an extra hour once your kids are in bed – but don’t make a habit of it.
  • Remember to take proper lunch breaks.
  • Don’t forget to make time for family holidays.

This may seem like a restriction on your business. But it’s vital to create rules of separation and stick to them. Otherwise, it’s too easy for your business to suck up all your time.

Running your business isn’t the same as building it.

Act like a project manager

You can get a lot done in a short amount of time. It all depends on how well you manage it:

  • Don’t use your email inbox as a way to manage your tasks with clients. That’s not what it was designed for – there are better tools for the job.
  • Use a project management tool such as Basecamp to simplify client management. This can help you reduce the overwhelming flow of information and make it more manageable.
  • Set timers for individual tasks and take a break when the timer ends. For most types of work, it’s hard to maintain solid concentration for more than about 35 minutes at a time. Taking short, regular breaks will help you be more productive.
  • Keep everything client-related in one place, separate from other tasks. This will help you create a clear, uncluttered environment.

5. Develop a consistent schedule for your home-based business

Running your business isn’t the same as building it. Both are important, but once you’ve reached a certain workload it’s easy to ignore business development.

So pick one day a week for working on (not in) your business. In other words, you might spend that day:

  • planning social media marketing
  • writing blogs
  • following up on sales leads
  • networking with potential new customers.

6. Automate wherever possible!

Computers were designed to make working life easier. With the right software, you can automate some of the work of running your business.

  • Standard email responses will let you respond quickly to customers while you think about a more detailed reply. A simple “Thank you for your inquiry, we will get back to you in the next 48 hours” will make potential new customers feel valued.
  • Use cloud-based software to save time and effort. If you make use of software that stores data online securely, you’ll make life easier for yourself. Lower IT costs, automated upgrades, data backups that are done for you – it all helps save you time.
  • Automate admin tasks. There are some things that all businesses need to do, including handling payroll and accounting for taxes. Get the right accounting software and you’ll be able to automate much of this work. That will leave you more free time to concentrate on building your business.

Learn from others

If you want to make the most of your situation, it helps to learn from people who have been there before. Luckily, there are plenty of stay-at-home parents who have written about their experiences.

You can learn from them. Find out what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they recommend for other entrepreneurs.

A simple web search will bring up plenty of examples. Many of them are women since mothers are still more likely to be stay-at-home parents than men.

Always remember that you’re not alone. If you get stuck with any aspect of running your home-based business, it’s easy to reach out for advice. Make the most of all the resources available – then you’re much more likely to succeed.

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