Information Governance: A Great Idea That Few Are Willing to Do Well

Loraine Lawson

It’s not that organizations don’t understand the importance of information governance, because a recent survey by Recommind shows that they do.

The survey arrived in my inbox after its release Thursday, and I found the findings puzzling.

In the U.S., CIOs and other data management IT workers from 113 midsized organizations responded to the survey.


When asked about a “robust information governance program:”

  • 86 percent agreed it would reduce eDiscovery risks
  • 73 percent said it would reduce eDiscovery costs
  • 55 percent said better governance would reduce the amount of organizational data

So, clearly, most understand that better governance is critical to compliance and liability concerns.

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“Not having a proactive IG policy leaves companies open to substantial fines, litigation risk, security breaches and compliance issues,” Attorney David Horrigan, an information governance analyst at 451 Research, is quoted as saying. “This research shows that there are still too many organizations exposed to these unnecessary risks. Robust information governance principles, supported by proven technology, can help alleviate these concerns and increase efficiency, saving time, money and resources.”

So, organizations understand the benefits, they understand the risks, but they also seem to be a bit …well, lackadaisical, frankly. The survey found that in the U.S.:

58 claim to have an information governance policy in place, yet…

  • 64 percent describe their information governance practices as “somewhat effective”
  • 52 percent say they rely on end users to manage their own data

That last one might not be so bad — afterall, IT reports being overwhelmed by the task.  But I gather from that when the survey said “rely on end users,” that doesn’t mean that the end users are actually trained and engaged with governance. Rather, the news release reads as if it means something more like “Gee, I guess they manage their data.”

 

Recommind Global Head of Information Governance Dean Gonsowski says this gives organizations a false sense of security.

 

“While it’s positive that organizations recognize the need for information governance, many are still not taking the requisite steps to truly govern their information in a proactive manner,” Gonsowski said. “In fact, many are still in the dark about governance and don’t have a full sense of the data deluge they are currently facing.”

You can read more details about the survey, including the UK results or check out this and other infographs about data on my Pinterest Data about Data board.



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