Content Governance – Can You Really Fix the Problem?
Do you treat your content as data or as information? This may seem like a stupid question, but there are many organizations that do not understand that their content is an asset that has value and needs to be managed the same way as their business applications.
Information is the foundation of decision making, so the quality of information impacts corporate risk, security, records management, sales, support, and a host of other business-critical applications.
Information governance is a popular topic – one only has to look at online publications to discover the ‘best’ way it should be implemented. Sort of a cookie-cutter approach. Pretty much setting yourself up for failure, if you take everything you read to heart. Content governance, as well as information governance, requires a corporate focus and involves all functional groups and user levels.
Where I think the challenge of content governance can be more easily met, is by addressing the fundamental problem that no one has been minding the store, from a content management perspective. So often, studies show that organizations just don’t know what to do with burgeoning amounts of content, so take the easy option and ignore the problem.
From a technical perspective, the fundamental problem is metadata. In 1985, when search was in its infancy, and still now, 30 years later, people still throw up their hands in exasperation when dealing with the issue of metadata. Most do it the same way they always have – through manual tagging or drop-down lists. Until content is made understandable, you can’t fix anything, let alone govern it.
Although Concept Searching is a vendor of metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy solutions, there are others who offer alternatives, using differing technologies. In other words, this is not a product pitch.
There are tools that can help organizations manage content, yet companies stubbornly stick with the manual approach. How are they ever going to solve the problem? Content is created and ingested every day, duplicate and multiple versions exist, records are never declared, and confidential and privacy information goes unprotected.
At the end of the day, how do you really know what your content contains? I’m not sure whether C-level folks just don’t understand metadata, or whether IT folks don’t want to approach the project. What do you think?