Information Whatever – Just do it
Information Governance. Still quite the buzzword in technical circles. I can’t seem to escape articles that are high level and essentially worthless to an organization thinking about Information Governance. I think many C-level executives and others really don’t understand what Information Governance is. There are still plenty of people who think Information Governance and Records Management are the same thing.
I firmly believe there is a disconnect between the formal definition of information governance as defined as the following, “Information governance, or IG, is the set of multi-disciplinary structures, policies, procedures, processes and controls implemented to manage information at an enterprise level, supporting an organization’s immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements.” That’s quite a mouthful. For those who prefer visual representations, Strategy Partners has an excellent graphic which depicts the pieces of Information Governance.
Information Management on the other hand is defined as, “Information management (IM) concerns a cycle of organizational activity: the acquisition of information from one or more sources, the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it, and its ultimate disposition through archiving or deletion.”
Looking at the definitions side-by-side, it’s pretty apparent that Information Management overlaps with Information Governance, but Information Governance is much broader encompassing people, processes, current and future risk, and policy enforcement. Now enters Content Lifecycle Management described as: “the document lifecycle is the sequence of stages that a document goes through from its creation to its eventual archival or destruction. Proper procedures throughout the document’s lifecycle are an important part of enterprise content management (ECM), a set of defined processes that help an organization obtain, organize, store and deliver information crucial to its operation in the most effective manner possible. The stages of a document’s lifecycle include: creation, storage, categorizing, metadata tagging, delivery or sharing, repurposing, review and reporting, archiving and / or destruction.”
From this side of the fence as a vendor, most organizations are still struggling with the terms, causing confusion in the organization. Yet, according to our survey and other sources, everyone wants to ‘do’ information governance and places it as a high priority.
My question is how, if they aren’t even sure what it means?