What must companies consider when they begin to think about implementing information governance policies?
From Robin Woolen: I always stress the importance of the four Ws of information governance, which are what, where, when and who. When you get right down to it, to begin focusing on information governance you must determine what particular information is important to your organization. From there, you need to understand where all of this information is located and when you are able to dispose of it. Because there is typically a legal or regulatory reason for keeping information, various departments within the company, including legal, compliance, operations and IT must decide how long to keep each category of information. Lastly, companies must determine who manages this information and who will have access to it.
From Bassam Zarkout: In terms of enforcing information governance, the most effective way to minimize corporate risk and improve operational efficiency is to implement a “closed loop” records management program that applies legally defensible governance controls over the entire life cycle of corporate information that may be housed in various jurisdictions, business units, IT systems and physical warehouses. This requires that corporate information policies are integrated with IT systems and actively enforced across jurisdictions; it also requires that executives have ongoing visibility into the process.
As digital information grows, so do the challenges and burdens of managing this mountain of data. Until recently, much of the industry has been focused on applying principles used to manage physical records, but they are now realizing that records management is no longer a sufficient solution. Companies are only now beginning to understand the importance of having an information governance program to manage electronically stored information across their organization as they drive new standards, controls, processes, disciplines and corporate objectives. This natural evolution to encompass a wide array of features and capabilities will continue to change the way that companies maintain their documents and ensure compliance across the organization and within their vertical industries.
RSD recently developed a monthly blog segment titled Influencer’s Corner where the team sits down with the industry’s top influencers to discuss all that is happening in the world of information governance. To kick this off, the RSD team recently spoke with the following industry influencers to discuss their thoughts on the current state of the information governance market, misconceptions, advice for companies looking to embark on information governance projects and industry predictions for 2015.
Chris Walker, father of the Principals of Holistic Information Governance, an independent consultant and an analyst with Digital Clarity Group
Bassam Zarkout, CTO of RSD, is a thought leader in the information governance space (conception, design, development and implementation), a frequent speaker at key industry events and a 20 year Information Governance veteran
James Lappin, an independent records management consultant and trainer
Robin Woolen, founder and principal consultant at The Records Guru®, IG industry veteran circa 1994