Information governance (IG) is oftentimes a challenging topic to define. Every organization or document management provider has their own unique ideas as to what’s most important when it comes to IG. It comes down to the activities and technologies a company employs to facilitate safer, better, more effective information use and management.
IG is the framework of procedures, controls, processes and policies that govern how information is treated and managed at an enterprise level. This multi-disciplinary set of approaches is designed to support accountability in the assessment, development, storage, application, archival and disposal of information. Based on the unique requirements of the company, IG includes whatever standards, metrics and processes necessary to encourage effective and efficient use of information in a way that benefits the company’s higher goals. IG applies to many sectors of business like records management and retention, information privacy and security, risk management, compliance, as well as IT, and more.
Some, although not all companies, think about IG as exclusively including the IT component. When aligning IG with IT, it becomes tricky in terms of how a company uses data and information to meet their objectives. The problem with focusing on IT is the organizations and people that own the networks, software and hardware a company uses to manage their data have no real investment in the information they’re managing. Some companies worry that when it comes to information accountability, this lack of interest and understanding is unintentionally damaging to their goals.
Essentially, the overall requirements of any IG system should be specified by the company itself—the people who create, understand and own the processes and procedures of data usage and management. Where IT enters, it’s important to have an internal cross-functional team to implement the combined approach. This may include members from various departments like risk management, HR, IT, accounting, records management and compliance, as well as someone at the executive level. A multi-faceted team who has an investment in the information is critical to successfully managing the complex IG/IT system.
To find out how ILM can aide in supporting your IG processes and policies, contact us today!