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Four Challenges to Simplifying Information Governance

Monday, January 04 th, 2016Comments: Comments Off

Our organizations are experiencing unprecedented growth in the volume, complexity, and importance of information. For almost every business, this growth is so remarkable it’s outpacing the ability to properly govern information using traditional methods and technologies. And while information governance (IG) is the designated approach for managing the influx of data, there have been limited solutions to efficiently implement an IG strategy.

Powered by new technologies that can intelligently automate key governance activities, IG ensures we have the rules and infrastructure in place to minimize information risk, thus enabling us to put that information to work with clarity and confidence. Currently, IG relies heavily on employees for the most critical tasks, making it harder for them to focus on their jobs and more difficult to ensure accuracy and compliance. Having a central, automated solution will better enable companies to protect and manage information in all its forms. To get started, the following challenges must be addressed:

  • An Abundance of Unstructured Data: Organizations need a uniform approach to storing information. The sheer volume of data combined with content abandonment issues inflates risk as companies find they retain information that should have been disposed. In fact, a Gartner report notes 30 percent of an organizations’ data is ROT (redundant, obsolete or trivial) and 50 percent of data has an indeterminate value. Essentially, effective, accurate governance is a near-impossibility.
  • Inefficient Classification: Manual classification is often less than ten percent effective because business users either don’t take the time to apply classification schemes or do it incorrectly. Instead, using the “Big Bucket” approach and assigning individuals metadata associated with their department eliminates the inefficiency of a manual process. Because digital data is created quickly, shared widely, stored chaotically, and classified sporadically, automated systems enable organizations to more efficiently apply metadata to classify all documents.
  • Unclear Retention and Destruction Schedules: Enforcing retention schedules uniformly across an enterprise’s digital data and physical records has become almost impossible using traditional approaches, which is why companies are using automation to simplify compliance. Due to our inability to defensibly implement retention policies, the default is to keep information indefinitely. However, even simple techniques, like automating reminders and status updates about the eligibility of records for destruction, can make a massive practical difference.
  • Decentralized Governance Applications: When retention schedules are separate from the data to which they apply, there is decreased efficiency in applying schedules and the potential for increased mistakes on updating schedules. When working with decentralized applications, like a shared drive, a person is responsible for migrating retention schedules on to data. An automated governance tool that connects to all repositories can apply a central policy to all documents and manage in place, rather than migrating data, and creates a more efficient process.

The information management landscape has been shifting toward the realization that an automated, enterprise-wide IG environment would allow companies to better manage all data. An automated, user-friendly, and collaborative IG approach is the best way forward and will empower organizations to simplify and govern what was previously disorganized and overwhelmingly complex.

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