Information is YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET
For many organizations, information is an asset that fuels business growth. However, there are certainly a number of high profile cases that show information mismanagement can prove to be just as costly in terms of fines, brand reputation, and legal fees. Organizations need to find a balance between the risk that information incurs, and the value it provides, for discovering buying patterns, driving product innovations and uncovering new opportunities.
Boards of directors and senior executives are under growing pressure to comply with more and more mandates that define how they manage information. The costs associated with storage and management are skyrocketing as enterprise information grows at rates often exceeding 40% per year. The risks and costs associated with mismanagement are also growing, as evidenced by the legal penalties that grab headlines.
Information governance: Two words regularly used by top executives to describe new programs for complying with the plethora of government mandates, the proliferation of content and the increasing legal and operational costs associated with corporate information. Information governance programs are also being developed to address new trends such as cloud computing, social media platforms, management of big data, and “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiatives.
These leaders rely upon compliance, legal, and records management staff to create comprehensive information governance programs to address these pressures. Unfortunately, today few companies have consolidated master classifications and file plans capturing their information governance policies. Policies are managed in unstructured documents like spreadsheets or PDF documents. The corporate information governance program is often defined as the sum of many jurisdiction or business-unit specific documents. They have no integrated view of the program, and no automated way to manage updates and changes.
In turn, these information governance program players rely upon corporate IT and operations staff to take the actions dictated by corporate IG policies, and enforce them across multiple, often distributed, systems. Content requiring governance may reside in repositories like Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, cloud storage systems, in archives, or on personal computer hard drives or network shared drives.
Executive management needs the assurance the information governance policies are being implemented properly and in a timely manner in the field. This is the only way to mitigate risk in the face of regulations in force. The “swivel-chair” and “word-of-mouth” enforcement simply does not work.