Information Governance (IG) is rapidly emerging as one of today’s most pressing business topics. IG is an evolutionary process for every business, and, accordingly, organisations are at different stages of maturity. However, there are several common threads to any conversation about IG.
Broad-based approach initiates the strategy. There is general agreement that initiatives must extend beyond a segmented approach to ensure a pro-active, rather than reactive, process. IG creates clear rules around the management of total information assets in an organisation, regardless of department or functional silo. Importantly, it also ensures information security and data privacy across the organisation.
Implementation is achievable. Until recently, many organisations questioned the relevancy and value of IG. This view has shifted radically. Now, the conversation has changed from What is IG? to How do we get started?
Laws and regulatory compliance drive IG. The impetus for fast-tracking IG comes from a desire to avoid legal breaches or regulatory non-compliance. Many organisations today are global, often operating in multiple jurisdictions. The appropriate infrastructure to guide the governance of the organisation’s content, minimises possible risks.
Collaboration shapes IG strategies. The initiative requires an executive steering committee that includes stakeholders from a wide variety of departments. Generally, records managers, legal and IT are involved and very often so too are data privacy and compliance officers. Some organisations also engage resources responsible for the many different aspects of content management.
Ongoing role of leadership struggles to fit. Executive steering committees typically shape and approve IG policies but many organisations struggle with enforcement. Where should the accountability sit in the organisation? In some companies, legal takes charge, in others it might be a Chief Privacy Officer. The question around the placement of leadership responsibility creates confusion and may be the obstacle delaying IG maturity for some businesses.
New IG-specific roles burgeon. An upswing of IG roles in organisations across a variety of industries is a trend predicted to gather momentum. These roles are primarily management positions, with many industry organisations pushing for a Chief Information Governance Officer (or similar) to be included in the executive team.