Redefining Information Governance
At GlassIG we aim to redefine how an Information Governance program should be perceived and implemented. We believe that key improvements are needed to accelerate adoption and facilitate deployment. We have leveraged 8 years of Information Governance market trends and customer experiences from all over the world to build solutions that fix today’s challenges and are flexible enough to welcome future requirements and evolutions. The list below is not exclusive, but gives a first level of benefits organizations will have by utilizing our solutions.
A shared vocabulary
“Retention schedule”, “lifecycle management”, and “record class” are key words to Information Governance experts but are understood by very few people in a typical organization. For the broad acceptance of any Information Governance program, we need to open up the vocabulary to non-experts. Information Governance cannot be a field that only trained records managers or information management experts can discuss. For collaboration purposes, the language of Information Governance must be easy to understand and accessible to all. Otherwise we cannot adopt an Information Governance program and we cannot recruit the information workers of tomorrow.
Setting policies needs agility…
Up to now, information policies have always been created and maintained by a small core of experts within an organization. Most of the time these are based on corporate rules and processes, and focused on the component or function of the business that needs governance. Corporate rules cover only broad questions, such as, “What do we do with all customer files?” (This can be different from industry to industry, of course.) Also centrally defined, are information policies linked to laws and regulations. Typically a policy is approved by an executive decision based on input from the legal department after a risk/value analysis. This needs to be done to identify which laws and regulations require strict compliance to avoid legal cases or litigation.
With the evolution of technologies, and the opportunity to access a large number of cloud based services, any information worker has the potential in the future to create policies. Rather than simply proscribe this facility, companies need a flexible model where policy creation is allowed but is traceable, using an Information Governance solution that keeps track record of who set the policy and why. The solution needs to be able to fit these “local” policies into the organization’s generic global policies, empowering information workers while still allowing oversight, metrics and feedback.
…And a multi-jurisdictional approach
The model in place to manage all these policies must be agile and it must scale: today’s start up organizations can very quickly expand their business coverage to an international scope, where additional laws and regulations from different jurisdictions will have to be integrated very quickly.
Experience with the implementation of European directives within European member states has taught us that even international regulations have local variants and interpretations. So, it not just about being able to add new policies, but also to be able to link global policies to local ones. Companies cannot afford to change their existing solution in place as they enter new markets. They have to be sure that their current solution is sophisticated enough to answer these new compliance requirements and any future requirements they may encounter.
Information is everywhere: a hybrid approach is a must have not a nice to have
From the new challenges organizations are facing today, it is apparent that information is everywhere, from on premise information systems to cloud based drives and repositories. It is simply unrealistic to assume that information can be extracted from all existing and future systems where it is created and consumed, and migrated to a central repository where, out of context, it can still be accessed and correctly interpreted. This means that an Information Governance solution needs to enforce information policies in place, while the organization’s information remains where it is most usefully created, stored, maintained, used and reused.
The adoption of cloud based repositories is growing rapidly in organizational departments, they simply cannot be ignored or managed individually. Global and local policies need to be enforced the same way in the cloud better, because it is more distributed, than they used to be in an entirely on premise repository. Hybrid information governance is the only way to bring consistency and apply the same information policies across the organization irrespective of the information type and format.
We are all information managers
Even with these new and more integrated ways of working, information management will not be understood by all. Unfortunately Information Governance solutions in their current form are too complex for many staff, who lack expertise and training; and who, themselves, have very few opportunities to learn and contribute to the information management strategy of their company or organization. We have seen that a first step is to develop and share a simplified vocabulary. Once this is done, the second step to increasing adoption is to transition to easier tools and simplified processes that hide or remove complexity and transform a painful and complicated information management program into one that is logical, simple and easy to understand and apply.
For example, everybody in a company should be able to access its information policies and be able to quickly find corporate and local policies related to any information under governance that they work with on a daily basis. Having identified a relevant policy they should be able to understand it and apply it, or if automated, how and when it is applied. It is by achieving this level of Information Governance adoption through a solution that embodies radical and disruptive approaches that organizations will be able to increase adoption, facilitate the understanding and importance of Information Governance, and raise the contribution by staff towards a successful deployment and ongoing program.
The most important success factor
Information Governance will succeed if it is adopted and embraced by every information worker who creates, uses and values information inside your organization. That way you can be sure that your organization is fostering an internal culture of good governance.
It is time to redefine your Information Governance program with GlassIG today.