What Is Information Governance?

Information Governance is the overarching strategy and tactics that connects together all of the diverse disciplines that leverage organizational information. Information Governance is the bridge between Records Management and Data Science, between Process and Policy, between collaboration and security. Information Governance is the umbrella that covers all organizational information. Information Governance balances the value of information with the risk that information poses; it determines the people, the resources, the processes, the functions, the organization, and the technology requirements of organizational information.

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Information Governance Defined:

Information Governance is the overarching and coordinating strategy and tactics for all organizational information. It establishes the authorities, supports, processes, capabilities, structures, and infrastructure to enable information to be a useful asset and reduced liability to an organization, based on that organization’s specific business requirements and risk tolerance.

- Information Coalition

Why does Information Governance matter?

Companies and organizations continue to struggle with information, whether it's unlocking its' greatest potential or remaining compliant and secure. Information Governance is the enabling function in companies to increase the value of information and reduce the risk that information poses.

Increasing the value of information

In a recent study, nearly one-half of respondents said that their organizations "do not treat information as an asset." So it should come as no surprise that that same study also found that over 3/4s of respondents had a hard time finding information in their organizations. Without a comprehensive and organizational-wide strategy, companies are delegating that responsibility to their various departments and employees, the result of which is abysmal findability of information along with an increase in security concerns.

While companies are beginning to spend significant amounts of money on Big Data and Data Science initiatives, it is Information Governance which enables those projects to become more cost effective and successful. Underlying information strategy enables companies to increase their information value.

Decreasing information risk

Compliance and security remain top concerns for executives today. While technology continues to be implemented in attempts at securing organizations, the underlying problem of making the right information available to the right people at the right time remains elusive. Unfortunately, for many organizations, the risk of internal breaches are as large as those of outside malicious hackers. Securing highly sensitive materials must be enabled through better information structure and organization. Information Governance enables this.

For compliance concerns, nearly 40% of respondents in a recent study say that they do not have a culture of compliance in their organization or have a weak culture of compliance. For those in the remaining 60% of organizations, those efforts often fall on deaf ears as information doesn't enable the targeted compliance culture. Information flows are enabled by information governance, and ensuring those flows are one of the keys to compliance success.

Information Governance, the bedrock of your information efforts

Information Governance is the umbrella strategy for all of your organization's information. Without that overall strategy, your efforts are more likely to fail. So yes, Information Governance matters. It matters a lot.

The Information Governance Model from Information Coalition
The Information Governance Model
EDRM's Information Governance Reference Model
EDRM's Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM)

Models & Methodologies

There are several models and methodologies now available to help companies towards enacting Information Governance in their organizations including Information Coalition's The Information Governance Model, ARMA's Information Governance Professional (IGP) DACUM Chart, and EDRM's Information Governance Reference Model.

ARMA International, the association of Records Managers, made an early attempt at developing a list of activities associated with information governance in their Information Governance Professional DACUM Chart, in support of their Information Governance Professional (IGP) Certification. Their overall IGP Certification came with other resources as well.

EDRM modified their eDiscovery Reference Model and transformed it their Information Governance Reference Model, and it, along with its' supporting materials can help organizations define the stakeholder groups to information governance.

Our biased view leans towards the usage of Information Coalition's Information Governance Model (InfoGovModel.com) as a tool to help define the activities underlying the various stakeholder groups as well as the authorities, supports, processes, capabilities, structures, and infrastructure underlying a comprehensive Information Governance plan.

In addition to The Information Governance Model, the Information Coalition is the producer of The Information Governance Conference and are currently in the process of defining, in conjunction with the community, an open source body of knowledge for the information profession as a whole, called the Information Body of Knowledge or InfoBOK. You can learn more about or join in those efforts on the Information Coalition website.

Enable Information Governance at The Information Governance Conference

Continuing to expand in both depth and conference growth, the Information Governance Conference is the annual event to help you and your organization take the right steps towards the enactment of an overall information strategy, Information Governance, today. Join us and learn why so many people and organizations rely on the Information Governance Conference as their source towards ongoing development of their information strategy.

Register for #InfoGov17 & Unlock Your Information Governance Potential

Eventbrite - The Information Governance Conference 2017 (#InfoGov17)