Information Governance – Must Have or Nice to Have?
“We have over 1 billion documents in our system and no way of knowing what is of value and what is not.” Deep Analysis client
A few years back, information governance was a popular phrase. Unfortunately, analysts and pundits continually talked about it but no one came up with a workable plan to implement it. When consultants realized the revenues they could achieve, suddenly everyone knew how to do it and at significant cost. For most organizations, information governance was out of financial reach. So information governance was put on the back burner, somewhat tarnished, and advocates still struggle to convince organizations that information governance can reap rewards.
Is it time to bring back the notion of information governance? Ignoring it will eventually adversely impact one or more of your core business processes. On which area does information governance focus? Typically, on security, data privacy, and legal compliance. I don’t know of any enterprise that isn’t facing one of those issues.
Unfortunately, you can’t just ‘do’ information governance. It’s like any other IT project, so accompanied by planning and project management. If your organization is like most, it probably has not been managing its content stores, file shares, or application data, much of which, over the years, has been transformed into garbage and content of no value.
You may be facing petabytes of siloed information across the enterprise, excessive spending on servers that really aren’t needed, and staff may not have access to current, accurate, and legally compliant data. Did you know analysts estimate that 69 percent of your data can and should be deleted?
Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of the research and consulting firm Deep Analysis, pointed out in a recent webinar, “Those that do not address information governance are typically saddled with vast amounts of unstructured, redundant data that increases work cycles and operational cost. In addition, bad data and lack of accountability can lead to wrong decisions. What’s more, the lack of an information governance policy limits the implementation of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain programs, due to a lack of clean data.”
Information governance isn’t about reducing risk, although it does. It should be viewed as an opportunity to proactively manage information assets, resulting in access to content, regardless of how it was created or ingested, or where it is stored. Storage costs will be lowered. For example, a client of ours with 20 million documents was able to reduce its server footprint from 54 to 4 using our content optimization and file analytics solution.
Information governance can provide visibility into more accurate information, to improve decision making. Finally, it will streamline information management.
If you are interested in pursuing information governance, you may like to read the second part of this blog.