As organizations move toward becoming more agile to meet customer preferences and competitive forces by leveraging information to a greater degree, tremendous strain and risk are added by the initiatives themselves. Accomplishing this strategic objective necessitates making data more easily accessible and distributing it to more destinations beyond their four walls (virtual or real) than ever before. Moving data to the cloud and making it accessible to personal devices as well as allowing corporate data to be stored in those locations increases risk, which is placing an additional burden on information governance. The level of maturity of an IG program is critical to assuring that data distributed to the cloud and personal devices is accompanied by appropriate security/privacy policies that can be enforced.
In a survey conducted at the CGOC Summit 2014, it was evident at the time that many organizations weren’t prepared, although they do recognize the risks involved. The vast majority, 76%, of the IG stakeholders attending indicated that their organization was not at all or somewhat prepared for implementing a BYOD capability. In my opinion, it includes to some degree preparedness for cloud since a cloud infrastructure, public or private, is necessary to provide personal device access to data. The major risks and challenges to the organization associated with these can be detrimental to corporate performance, if not near catastrophic. The impact on customer confidence in an organization is seen as the biggest risk by over half of those surveyed, 53%, as it can have a significant negative effect on top line performance.
With more data available and accessible to personnel on their own devices nearly anywhere via the cloud, IG stakeholders recognize that there will be greater complexity. The majority, 46%, identify more jurisdictional regulations to comply with as the main challenge followed by 39% identifying discovery through a subpoena of 3rd party service providers being the greatest. Both are serious challenges for an organization’s information governance program. A good portion of that challenge is that a lot of the regulatory and legal issues surrounding information in the cloud and/or on personal devices are not fully understood or even defined at this point. Both are capabilities that will be implemented and it’s incumbent on executives, and in their best interests, to ensure their IG programs have the resources necessary to address them.
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