Need for Information Governance Policy

By CIOReview | Friday, December 16, 2016
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In today’s world of data explosion, it has become imperative for organizations to take a long hard look at their data and find effective ways to store and use it. Storage of sensitive and important information is of utmost importance for the enterprises and they should do everything in their capacity to have a sound information governance plan in place to gain meaningful insights from the data which would help them in the long run. As we know economics is the driving force for any organization, similarly, data governance is very critical to the well being of any firm. The enterprises derive meaningful insights from the astronomical amount of data that is generated on a daily basis, but things are changing as there is a growing concern among them regarding the security of data and the risks associated with it.

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Having a healthy information policy in place depends on a number of factors, such as the nature of the information, potential risks and the cost accrued. There are many instances to prove the vulnerability of data and ways in which it can affect various industries. According to Steve Weissman, Principal Consultant, The Holly Group, “If no one gets sued, if the district attorney doesn't come knocking, if things are working, it doesn't hit the radar screen. It tends to be invisible until some kind of event happens to make it visible."

Having a comprehensive information policy in place also gives you the freedom to get rid of the redundant and old data without getting into any trouble with the law. The main aim of a good data governance policy is to make businesses more lean and agile. After all it’s not that difficult!

One of the challenges associated with an effective information governance policy lies in the fact that due to the humongous nature of data, it is quite possible to lose focus and get intimidated by the sheer size of unstructured data. Another aspect that comes to the fore is the fact that some analysts believe information governance is more like a constraint and regressive in nature. They find it more like a control and an imposing structure, which is self defeating in essence.

Organizations are well aware of the benefits that a robust and sound information governance policy provides and it’s just their unwillingness to spend in something that has no tangible benefits which is acting as a deterrent for them. A good information governance policy deals with immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements and requires someone from the top hierarchy who is charge of the affairs to keep a check on the scheme of things. Accountability is another factor that is of vital importance for the success of any information governance policy. It should be made clear right from the start that who is in charge of what and responsibilities should be delegated properly for the efficient implementation of any information governance program.

But the fact that goes against information governance is the lack of any quick fix technological remedy that would lead to a quick solution. There’s no technical solution that can cover the whole gamut of information governance. The solution comprises of the combination of human and technical know-how to cater to the needs of any organization. The implementation part is the most difficult of all, because it requires cohesion and an environment of consensus, without which it becomes very difficult for any fledgling program to develop and prosper in an uncertain environment.

It’s only human to think about today and push non-essential activities to the future and that’s where the problem with information governance lies. It’s high time that enterprises realized this and started thinking about information governance as a high priority task and they should not be compelled to do so because of any disaster or misfortune.