Part 1: A SharePoint Information Governance approach that works
Every organization is unique in their requirements and approach to Information Governance. The problem is increasing as SharePoint has become prolific in organizations of all sizes. Despite SharePoint’s rapid adoption, it has traditionally been used to solve collaboration, content, and records management challenges at the departmental level, outside the view and control of a corporate IT function. While this gives departments control of their content, it makes information governance more difficult for the IT staff, who has no control or insight into the content. From an enterprise perspective this increases organizational risk, impacts decision making, increases non-compliance issues and the risk of data privacy exposures.
The enterprise IT challenge is to continue to provide business benefits to end users while maintaining a level of consistency and control. A governance plan is necessary but if it is impractical or unrealistic to implement it will fail. It is essential to ensure that it delivers relevant content to its users in an effective way, while protecting the enterprise from legal, regulatory, and non-compliance issues. Concept Searching’s approach has resulted in the development of the Smart Content Framework™ that complements our SharePoint technology suite and addresses information governance and the tactical building blocks to implement to realistically achieve objectives. This framework was developed to solve the challenges of information governance in SharePoint for organizations including US Army Medical Command, Oppenheimer Funds, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and NASA Safety Center.
The crux of the problem with information governance is the inability to rely on end users to accurately and consistently add metadata to content and process information according to policies. Poorly designed and managed repositories of content results in multiple versions of the same document and can cause decision-makers to find and rely on inaccurate data. Unmanaged web servers running SharePoint can have unanticipated results including security exposures, inconsistent regulatory compliance issues, and non-declaration of records.
At a fundamental level enterprises struggle with managing content assets which stems from the end user’s inability to accurately and consistently tag content for search, re-use, records identification, and archival purposes. An enterprise metadata repository is the primary building block in any information governance plan that enables the proactive management of content.
We’ll finish up this discussion in Part 2.