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For content management professionals, the need for proper information governance is readily apparent. Putting that need in the language that the c-level needs to hear can be a bit more complicated, however. Below are some common objections to rigorous information governance initiatives, and how to handle them.
1. We already have a file plan and our policies and disposition are well defined. Why do we need Information governance?
If you have a comprehensive file plan with policies and disposition well defined, that is a great start to information governance, but other things are critical as well.
Most importantly, are the policies being enforced? Without an information governance initiative, many organizations find that the file plan is not effective because it is not being enforced. For enforcement to be successful, it needs support from the top of the organization, and it needs support across the organization. This is why the concept of a Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) has become a hot topic. One of the responsibilities of the CIGO is to obtain support from the Executive team and to ensure the policies are enforced across the organization.
In addition to enforcement, many times the organization has not been educated on the importance of the policies, nor have they been trained on how to enforce the policies. An Information governance initiative can help with both of these issues.
Another consideration is the identification and classification of your content. Just because a file plan exists doesn't necessarily mean all of your content is tied to it. An information governance program will ensure this step of the process has been completed.
There is already a lot of research available about the benefits of information governance.
ECM is the tool to help organize and manage your information, but information governance is about the principles, policies and practices to control that information. The same concept applies to a Records Management solution; it is the tool, but Information governance is still needed.
A lot of focus is typically placed on the tool because that is what everyone sees and uses on a daily basis. But without an Information governance initiative, your organization is only half way there; defining, managing, and enforcing the policies and practices will make the tool even more valuable.
The answer to this will depend upon your organization. A Records Manager could certainly take on a larger role that included Information governance. But remember that Information governance needs to be enforced from the top down and across the organization for it to be successful. Many times a Records Manager does not have the exposure or the authority across the organization. This is one reason the CIGO (Chief Information Governance Officer) has become a relevant position. An Information governance initiative can be implemented without a CIGO, but the person responsible for it will need support from the top, and some level of authority across the organization.
The biggest risk is non-compliance and the legal risk your organization is exposed to by not governing your data. The media is full of real-world examples of companies that have learned this lesson the hard way.
In addition to compliance, there are other risks. In summary: