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The goal of the COBIT frameworks is to provide a common language for business executives to communicate with each other about IT-related goals, objectives and results. COBIT is also designed to help enterprises to:
- Assure information is accurate to support business decisions
- Achieve strategic goals by using IT assistance
- Maintain operational excellence by using technology effectively
- Keep IT-related risk at an acceptable level
- Optimize IT services and technology costs
- Maintain compliance with relevant laws and regulations
The COBIT frameworks have become an industry standard for IT management and governance. COBIT was initially an acronym for "Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology," but with COBIT 5 the spelled-out version was dropped. The changes between COBIT 4.1 and COBIT 5 include more emphasis on creating business value. The COBIT 5 framework, which was released in 2012, is based on five key principles:
- Meeting stakeholder needs
- Covering the enterprise end-to-end
- Applying a single integrated framework
- Enabling a holistic approach
- Separating governance from management
COBIT 5 also combines the COBIT frameworks with others developed by ISACA, such as Val IT and Risk IT as well as resources from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library and related standards from the International Organization for Standardization.