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, so has value and needs to be managed in the same way their business applications. Information is the foundation of decision making, therefore the quality of information impacts corporate risk, security, records management, sales, support, and a host of other business-critical applications.
Since the term information governance is the word of the day, one only has to look at on-line publications to discover the ‘best’ way that it should be implemented. Sort of a cookie cutter approach. To me, pretty much setting yourself up for failure, if you are take everything you read to heart. Content governance, as well as information governance, does require a corporate focus and involves not only all functional groups but users from the C-level on down.
Where I think content governance can be easier solved is addressing the fundamental problem that no one has been minding the store from a content management perspective. Study after study illustrates that many organizations just don’t know what to do with burgeoning amounts of content, so they take the easy road out, and ignore the problem. From a technical perspective, the fundamental problem is metadata. Since around 1985, when search was in its infancy, and now 30 years later, everyone is still throwing up their hands at the issue of metadata and 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 we are a vendor of metadata generation, auto-classification, and taxonomy software, there are other vendors who offer an equivalent solution, using differing technologies. In other words, this is not a product pitch. There are tools that can help organizations manage content, yet organizations stubbornly stick with a manual approach. How are they ever going to solve the problem? Content is created and ingested every day, duplicates and multiple versions exist, records never declared, and confidential/privacy information that is not protected. How at the end of the day do you really know what the content contains? You don’t. The return on investment for these tools is typically astronomical and payback swift. I’m not sure if the C-level folks just don’t understand metadata, or the IT folks don’t want to approach the project. What do you think?