Who Is Managing Information in SharePoint?
Recently I was writing an article for KMWorld about Information Governance in SharePoint. Information Governance and Big Data seem to be the new buzz words across all industries. What is the real challenge in SharePoint? 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.
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.
As you plan or augment your Information Governance plan, evaluate technologies that gain control of unstructured content and run natively in SharePoint. In addition, look for vendors that have a proven track record for successfully solving Information Governance challenges. A technology solution should leverage features in SharePoint for sharing metadata across multiple site collections and server farms and maintain the performance levels needed. The organizational role is to develop the rules and processes to adopt and enforce information governance, utilizing the strengths of SharePoint while maximizing the value and minimizing the risk associated with information from within SharePoint as well as diverse repositories.
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