Information Governance Must Change


Information governance (IG) is all the rules, regulations, legislation, standards, and policies with which organizations need to comply when they create, share, and use information. Governance is mandated internally and externally. (PHIGs IMC Inc – 2014)

IGI Facets of IG 2015

The above graphic, courtesy of the Information Governance Initiative, presents facets of Information Governance. I don’t agree that everything in the graphic belongs under IG, but it does illustrate how all encompassing and complicated IG is.

With cloud content management, collaboration, and storage offerings becoming more and more accepted, IG needs to adapt. No longer can organizations govern and manage information as if it’s paper or as if it’s stored in on-premises, silo’d repositories. Vendors and their clients have rethought how to work with information; users have come to expect great experiences when working with information in the course of their daily jobs; now we need to rethink how we govern and manage information.

We’re at a point where the whole IG profession must change. It’s not just about the people practising the profession adapting, it’s also about how we actually execute that needs to change. Coming out of a couple conferences a while back I put my thoughts down. Read them for a little more insight, if you wish. I’m convinced that we’re at a point where, together, we can make a huge impact on how IG gets done, and actually get adopted by information workers. At 10am PDT on June 29th Box’s Jessica Fain and I will be chatting about How to Succeed at Information Governance in the Cloud; join us and join in on the discussion – we’d love to get your thoughts.

14 Comments on “Information Governance Must Change

  1. Hi Christian – A good start: using *Information* Governance and not *Data* Governance. I believe that going back to a solid explanation of the difference between the two (Information and Data) is key. It can be done quickly and easily (Information came first and pervades all that we do) and with a few foundational rules in place, the rest of it, i.e. all of the ‘slices’ in the IG pie, become more readily understandable.

    I look forward to the conversation on the 29th and will read more of your material before then.

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    • Thanks, John. I’m pretty sure we won’t get to discussing info vs data. The bottom line is that regardless of where it resides, it all (info, data, content) needs to be governed and managed.

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      • Agreed, and apologies if this belabours the point, but information governance that starts with the elements of information (terminology, names, etc.) in the form of a faceted vocabulary has a much better chance of reusing those elements in a much more useful way.

        Looking forward to the conversation.

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  2. How do I get call-in details for the event… the Event Lobby doesn’t seem to have a register function.

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  3. Who doesn’t have to change anymore? Who can no longer afford to be nimble in order to keep up with the pace of change? I’m moving our global retention schedule app to the cloud. New internal hosting would take 60-90 days for a sever to be ordered and set up. The cloud provider did it a couple of days. That difference in red tape alone, in responding to the users need, creates a flood of applications on the move, along with lower cost.

    Now silos are a funny thing as they are often done by the will of the organization in wanting separation. Not that there isn’t collaboration tools for cross-pollination but few are willing to pile their business line information together outside of main accounting platforms like SAP. Unless there is a culture change, based on massive monetary savings (always about the money), organizations will continue to silo a number of business line information applications.

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  4. If that list is “…all the rules, regulations, legislation, standards, and policies with which organizations need to comply when they create, share, and use information” (and I’m not saying it’s not), say hello to silos and bad behavior.

    That lists works for the people who “get it” but more and more “information workers” reside in line-of-business locations and they are not going to think about all that stuff.

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    • And the truth is, beyond the standard on-boarding training, I don’t think they really need to think about it; I certainly don’t want them to. The Utopian view is that the “system” will take care of the governance and the users will just do their jobs. The Dystopian view is when users have to be information or records managers.

      As for silos – as long as the silos can be connected and the users get the info they need, it doesn’t really matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Information Governance is key in any organization considering the amount/volume of information that come in and out on daily basis. The important thing one needs to take note is the information/recordskeeping principles (Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, Protection, Compliance, Availability, Retention, and Disposition). These principles are very important if must achieve success in that direction. Either we like it or not, security remains our biggest challenge when it comes to cloud computing. At the moment, it is an acceptable risk and we must put other control effectiveness in place to mitigate other unforseen circumstances. Above all, cloud computing will help a lot for effective and efficient implementation of Information Governance – Saheed Abolade

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    • Hi Saheed – How do you see cloud technologies getting Christian closer to his utopia where “silos don’t matter as long as the silos can be connected…” etc.?

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    • Actually, I think security is only perceived to be the biggest challenge. Cloud providers have way better security, in general, than the vast majority of corporate and government data centres. The biggest challenge we have is in our collective heads; nothing to do with reality.

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