Friday, April 18, 2014

Manage Information (golden eggs) in One Basket

Information is everywhere and in many cases, not managed well. Content is coming at us from every direction via our personal computers, phones, laptops, tablets, social media, etc. Information is stored in overflowing file cabinets and file shares, offsite record centers, company approved and personal cloud applications. Information is not always accessible to those that require access. Information sometimes leaks out and gets in the hands of people that should not have access to it. There are information management regulations such as HIPPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Data Privacy, etc. that organizations must meet and consequences and costs to not managing information according to best practices.
I think you get the point. Our work world now and in the future includes social media, mobility, analytics/big data and the cloud. John Mancini, AIIM President, says it best in Information Chaos v Information Opportunity that "Information is the new currency. How an organization manages its information assets is now just as fundamental a source of competitive differentiation as how it manages its physical assets, its human assets, and its financial assets".
Organizations should manage all their information in one basket - the "Information Governance Basket".  Gartner defines Information Governance as “The specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to encourage desirable behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archival and deletion of information.  It includes the process, roles, standards and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.” Developing an Information Governance Program provides an information accountability framework within your organization that reduces costs, manages risk, and optimizes value. 
Set up an information governance program with committee representation from the following activities/departments within your organization: Records Management/Archives, Compliance, Legal/eDiscovery, IT, Risk Management, Privacy & Security. This is the time when I have to say that I know there are many organizations that have all these types of roles in their organization but they are working in silos to meet department/individual goals. They need to come together working as key members in an Information Governance Committee.  Information needs to be managed throughout its lifecycle from a broader perspective than just the goals of these individual departments. The committee needs to seek the needs of the total organization. Only then can an organization successfully begin to:
  • Manage the risks of growing volumes of information
  • Reduce costs
  • Transform content-intensive business processes
  • Use content to better engage customers, employees, and partners
  • Get business "Insight" out of all the information gathered and managed
Learn more about Information Governance:
AIIM Information Governance Training
ARMA International Information Governance Maturity Model
Become an Information Governance Professional
Information Governance: Its Time to Modernize!