The Case for Information Governance

The business case for information governance

OVERVIEW

Electronic information – emails, files, word processing documents, spreadsheets, instant messages, presentations, social media posts, text messages, databases, etc. – are burying organizations in a flood of digital data – mostly of the unstructured variety. In fact, IDC now estimates that 90% of all information is of the unstructured variety. The majority of this unstructured digital data is ignored by organizations, hoarded by employees, and is almost never looked at – ever. This unmanaged data consumes valuable storage space and IT resources, dramatically raises the cost and risk in litigation response, and makes it harder for employees to find and share data – reducing overall productivity.

Every organization are struggling with the problem of too much electronic data (whether they know it or not); what does it contain, where is it stored, how can we utilize it more effectively, and how long should it be keep – in other words, how should it be managed for the benefit of the business. The sheer volume combined with the lack of effective management is at the root cause of the problem.

To get a handle on this information overload, organizations must begin an information governance program which includes creating an information strategy, developing use policies and retention schedules, actively auditing program compliance, and adopting information governance automation which empowers the organization to systematically store, find, categorize, manage and dispose of data accurately and cost effectively. The most effective measure of success for any information governance program is to determine if it generates the required return on investment or ROI to make the investment profitable.

The balance of this paper will step through a discussion of the issues/challenges organizations face with getting control of their information and suggested steps that can be taken to ensure that happens.