What is COBIT 5? Definition & Explanation

COBIT helps organisations meet business challenges in regulatory compliance, risk management and aligning IT strategy with organisational goals.

What is COBIT 5?

COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) helps organisations meet business challenges in regulatory compliance, risk management and aligning IT strategy with organisational goals. COBIT 5, the latest iteration of the framework, was released in 2012.

For a practical introduction to the key concepts of COBIT 5, read our bestselling guide Governance of Enterprise IT based on COBIT® 5.

COBIT 5 principles

COBIT 5 is based on five principles that are essential for the effective management and governance of enterprise IT:

  • Principle 1: Meeting stakeholder needs
  • Principle 2: Covering the enterprise end to end
  • Principle 3: Applying a single integrated framework
  • Principle 4: Enabling a holistic approach
  • Principle 5: Separating governance from management

These five principles enable an organisation to build a holistic framework for the governance and management of IT that is built on seven ‘enablers’:

  1. People, policies and frameworks
  2. Processes
  3. Organisational structures
  4. Culture, ethics and behaviour
  5. Information
  6. Services, infrastructure and applications
  7. People, skills and competencies

Together, the principles and enablers allow an organisation to align its IT investments with its objectives to realise the value of those investments.

Benefits of COBIT

The COBIT 5 framework can help organisations of all sizes:

  • Improve and maintain high-quality information to support business decisions.
  • Use IT effectively to achieve business goals.
  • Use technology to promote operational excellence.
  • Ensure IT risk is managed effectively.
  • Ensure organisations realise the value of their investments in IT; and
  • Achieve compliance with laws, regulations and contractual agreements.

COBIT 5 and other frameworks

COBIT 5 has been designed with integration at its heart. It is aligned with numerous best-practice frameworks and standards, such as ITIL®,
ISO 20000 and ISO 27001.

When implementing an IT Governance framework, it may be best to take an integrated approach, using parts of several different frameworks and standards to deliver the results you need.

In Pragmatic Application of Service Management, Suzanne Van Hove and Mark Thomas provide an approach to integrating COBIT 5, ITIL and ISO 20000 that delivers a better return on investment and alignment of IT with organisational objectives.

Discover our range of bestselling COBIT products and services 

IT Governance offers a complete range of books, toolkits, e-learning, training, software and consultancy relating to all areas of IT governance, risk and compliance.

COBIT toolkit

IT Governance Control Framework Implementation Toolkit

  • The IT Governance Control Framework Implementation Toolkit has been designed to simplify the complex process of COBIT implementation. It provides documentation templates covering all 37 of the COBIT processes and ready-to-use policies and procedures that will save you time and money when implementing COBIT. 

COBIT books

The COBIT 5 Publication Suite

COBIT training

COBIT classroom training

  • COBIT 5 Foundation Course: Understand the fundamental principles of COBIT 5 and how it aligns IT goals with strategic objectives on this three-day course.

Speak to an expert

Please contact our team for advice and guidance on our COBIT products and services.

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