Information Governance Needs to be Part of the Strategic Discussion

Information Governance Needs to be Part of the Strategic Discussion

While the title of this blog post may seem to be a no-brainer for CGOC members there remains a need to make the case for information governance as part of an organization’s strategic plan. This was highlighted in a recent article by Jed Cawthorne, Push for Strategic Governance in Information Management (CMS Wire) along with some great insight into the challenges organizations face when IG isn’t part of that discussion. A number of the points he makes in the article have at one point been discussed within the CGOC community and he does a good job discussing them together within the context of a strategic approach.

We all know that uttering the words information governance can have the effect of people wanting to change the subject rather quickly, depending on whom you’re with. For many people outside of IG professionals, it just sounds way too complicated to understand and near impossible to implement. However, he argues that “having a set of aligned, cascading strategies should make the information governance task much easier,” to which the CGOC community likely agrees as a whole. The perception relative to complexity and difficulty is the result of the current amount of information that hasn’t been governed along with negative associations of it with regulatory compliance, litigation, and eDiscovery.

This problem sprung up in the information era and remains largely unresolved as we are transitioning to the social age, which is being built on information (data). Big Data and analytics have become strategic weapons for organizations working to determine how to take advantage of online customer behaviors combined with other data sources to compete better in the markets they serve. This is forcing them to include IG as part of a holistic strategy and not simply look for a new tool or technology to be a silver bullet.

“Throwing the latest buzzword-laden technology solution on top of your existing information management problems just creates bigger, messier problems.” – Jed Cawthorn,

As many of your organizations are in the midst of implementing or planning for adoption of cloud and/or BYOD an important question to ask aloud is whether there are well thought out strategies for implementation. The risk to an organizations reputation and business performance due to a data breach in the cloud or on an employee’s personal device is substantial. Information governance is an integral part of an organization’s strategic foundation going forward. Justifying support for IG programs by aligning it to a corporate strategy of being more data-driven and more agile presents an opportunity that hadn’t been as visible in the past. Strategic information governance can have a significant impact on top-line results and not just bottom line costs where it was historically positioned.

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