Information Governance: On-the-Ground Perspectives and Practical Guidance

August 27, 2014 conduentblogs

“Information Governance is: The activities and technologies that organizations employ to maximize the value of their information while minimizing associated risks and costs.” – Information Governance Initiative Annual Report

The Information Governance Initiative (IGI), a cross-disciplinary consortium and think tank dedicated to “advancing the adoption of information governance practices and technologies through research, publishing, advocacy, and peer-to-peer networking” recently came out with its Annual Report.

This report is particularly relevant to clients. It rises above the “noise” in the industry surrounding information governance, providing on-the-ground insight into what is occurring right now within many organizations, practical guidance based on real-life experience, and a peek into what the not-so-distant future holds for many corporations.

Below are some of the salient highlights:

  1. Leading organizations are appointing a Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) to provide a coordinating function with delegated authority for specific activities.
  2. Information governance is not the next evolutionary stage of records management or e-discovery; rather, it is the highest-level description for all information management activities within an organization, involving information security, compliance, data governance, risk management and privacy.
  3. It’s not just about risk. Information governance must be a business-enabling function that powers data-driven business models and insight.
  4. Information governance should incorporate all the tools needed to better manage information, including controls (i.e., policies and procedures), people and technologies.
  5. While there is no clearly defined information governance market today, the majority of organizations expect the amount they spend to grow in 2015.
  6. Organizations are buying new technology in the first year of an information governance program—i.e., document/content/records management software and archiving technology. The average small-to-mid-sized organization spends $330,000 per project (products, services and staff) and larger organization spending exceeds $2 million.
  7. Practitioners are starting to update policies and procedures, migrate unstructured information, and consolidate and clean up data.
  8. There is a broad product market, with various points of management and control coordinated by the CIGO. This includes records management, information security, compliance, e-discovery, and archiving.
  9. Due to immature decision structures, information governance projects are taking a long time to get off the ground. Greater clarity about information governance and its leadership, goals and operational models will speed up projects.
  10. Practitioners are building operational models, like the RACI matrix. (The report provides one for practitioners to build on.)
  11. Quantifying the financial benefits of information governance projects is essential to the success of such projects within the organization. (The IGI also sheds light on the most popular financial models that are being used by practitioners.)

The IGI is optimistic about the future of information governance, and its Annual Report reflects a thoughtful starting point. If you would like to read the complete report, please email Xerox Litigation Services is a founder member of the IGI.

Rachel Teisch is vice president, marketing at Conduent. She can be reached at

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