March 19, 2020

What is Federated Information Management?

3 minute read

Almost every industry is facing a similar challenge today: How to implement an overarching information governance strategy that covers all information in a unified manner. As a leader in records and information management, Gimmal has solved this exact problem for our clients. This article will delve into the concept of federated information management and the challenges and obstacles faced by all organizations.

 What is federated information management? The terminology almost seems too vague to create a formal definition. Furthermore, when we ask our clients, we get more questions than answers. The term is somewhat esoteric, but it addresses the fundamental need to find, classify and consistently apply policy to information regardless of where it lives. This may seem like a large task to some. After all, how can you unify a process when each division of an organization have operated from their own structured process for years if not decades?

 Federated information management is the ability to manage information, both electronic and physical, that reside in many different locations through a unified process, policy, or solution. Within most organizations, content is growing at an astronomical rate. Think about the number of items you open daily in order to perform your job duties? What rules do you use to define information management policy for these items?  Do these documents always stay in the location from where it was found? Or, do they move to another location? Are they printed and sent to some offsite location or file room?

 What are the ramifications of a traditional approach? There are many.  First, the quantum of information that is truly managed represents a minority of the information that exists in the enterprise.  In some cases, a significant minority.  Second, as the volume of information to manage grows, the risk associated with that growth increases in at least linear proportion. Finally, as the need to find critical business information rapidly increases, the cost of not finding information in a timely manner resulting in fines and penalties becomes significant. This is particularly true for highly regulated entities, either in public or private sector, who must respond quickly to information requests demanded by regulators.

 Gimmal has helped organizations navigate the entire lifecycle of creating a records and information management program. In the end, hard questions need to be asked regarding the current policy for the enterprise and not just a specific department. Although records can be active for many years, businesses evolve rather quickly. Without a proper federated information management foundation, achieving meaningful change is challenging at best.

 To see how Gimmal can help you achieve a true federated approach to information management, view a demonstration here.

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