Rethink Information Governance: The value of understanding information governance

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Information governance has evolved in the digital age. This e-book lays out the steps organisations can take to discover, classify and manage information to improve productivity, reduce errors and enable more confident and informed decisions.

Rethink Information Governance: The value of understanding information governance

Today’s digital-first organisations run on data, so it has never been more important that their data be accurate, current and relevant. Information governance is the discipline of discovering, defining and creating policies and procedures to manage data throughout its lifecycle.

This e-book introduces the concept of information governance, traces its evolution in the digital age and defines the step-by-step measures your organisation can take to tame the data deluge, achieve your compliance objectives and carve a path toward more confident and informed decisions.

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation initiatives that were already underway at organisations around the globe. IDC estimates that $2 trillion was spent on transformation projects worldwide in 2019, encompassing 40 percent of all technology spending. 

The foundation of any digital business is data-driven decision-making. The challenge is managing data volumes that are expected to grow more than 60% annually for the foreseeable future, fueled by the massive amounts of information being thrown off by smart devices. Consider that a single self-driving car generates about 8 terabytes of data per hour, or roughly 1.6 million times as much information as could fit on a PC hard drive circa 1980

This data explosion creates an ever-more urgent need for standards that define how organisations govern it. Many executives now say that information is their most important asset, yet Forrester Research estimates that between 60% and 73% of the average organisation’s data is never analysed. The disconnect between our ability to capture data and extract meaningful value from it will only increase as volumes grow. 

Information Governance (IG) is the foundation of an organisation-wide data management strategy. The concept isn’t new, but the practice of IG has radically changed. We created this three part ebook series to demystify IG and help organisations define a road forward as they harmonise their practices for governing records and data in all its forms. By starting now, organisations can better prepare themselves for the data deluge of the future.

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Redefining Information Governance

The formal definition of Information Governance is “a multi-disciplinary enterprise accountability framework that ensures appropriate behavior in the valuation of information and the definition of the roles, policies, processes, and metrics required to manage the information lifecycle, including defensible disposition.”

Stated simply, it’s about knowing what information you have, how it’s used, who’s responsible for it and how to manage it. Governance ensures that organisations can find the information they need, or at least know where to look. That addresses a growing problem of misfiled or mislabeled information. A 2019 survey of 1,500 information workers by M-Files found that 46% said it’s challenging and time-consuming to find documents they need and 36% said it’s difficult to find the most recent version of a document most or all of the time.

Part of the problem is that many Information Governance practices are fragmented and fail to make a clear distinction between data, information and records. A modern IG strategy recognises these differences but harmonises practices for managing them. Let’s look at each in more detail.

  • 46%

    said it’s challenging and time-consuming to find documents.

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