Why Businesses Should Have a Strong Information Governance Strategy

Effective and streamlined communication channels have become one of the main aspects of any modern business, with sensitive information and raw data being the essential lifeblood of the underlying infrastructure necessary for running a successful company. Regardless of the company size or the industry it belongs to, the amount of data that flows through your organization is immense. Despite these claims, there is still a vast amount of businesses that are not approaching the process of data management with adequate gravity. 

This needs to change. 

If you want to achieve high levels of cost effectiveness, you need to establish a data-driven and streamlined workflow, as well as boost your data security efforts. Only when your data is properly protected, governed and accessible, can your business run smoothly and reach desired goals in terms of ROI. 

This is where Information Governance comes into play. 

Information Governance, (or IG), when properly incorporated within your business model and operations, can help you bridge all the gaps in your data management. Still, many recent surveys show quite alarming data when it comes to implementing Information Governance strategies at a satisfactory level. 

For example, one NewVantage Partners study states that over 70% of the businesses that took this survey do not think their company has developed the “data culture.” This only means one thing – we need to raise awareness about how critical Information Governance really is for running a successful business.  

What is Information Governance?

Information Governance accounts for the effective use and management of company information, data-based assets and resources. The main objective of an effective IG strategy is to leverage processed data to the fullest and minimize all risks in terms of data security and infrastructure breaches. Creating a proper Information Governance strategy involves coming up and following the best-practice IG rules and standards for your industry and company size. It also includes making sure that your business is abiding by the legal rules, regulations, legislation, and policies that your organization is required to comply with when it obtains, creates, handles, shares, and processes information.  

Developing an effective IG strategy is essential for your business as it can help you:

  • Reduce security risks
  • Automate regulatory compliance 
  • Achieve high information policy consistency
  • Improve accessibility management and archiving of sensitive and valuable data
  • Improve data storage and administration processes 

How you are handling, storing and archiving data can make or break your business. This is why you need to optimize your IG strategy according to your own operational framework and workflow and make sure that you keep records, classify and store data, manage content, and tackle data recovery and accessibility the right way. 

Let’s go over some of the main advantages of having a proper IG plan in place. 

Crucial Benefits of Information Governance 

Security Risks Reduction & Improved Regulatory Compliance

Having a proper IG strategy enables companies to ensure timely access (across all employees and staff members) to the right information and data pieces, allowing you to keep your data maintained and up to date at all times. This involves adequate and effective data classification, nomenclature, as well as proper tagging processes, making sure your sensitive information and critical operations are clearly defined, archived, deleted, retrieved, etc. 

High accessibility, user-friendliness and optimized data retrieval allow for an improved workflow, while it also enables compliance to all legal and regulatory requirements – and in so doing it reduces both security and business risks to a minimum. 

Improved Data Accessibility, Restrictions and Archiving 

The data-flows that permeate your company are among the main lifebloods of your business. The data that is obtained and processed by your organization can be extremely valuable and sensitive, which means it requires a multi-tiered archiving and management strategy. This means that not all data pieces should be treated and stored with the same level of accessibility. 

For example, data classification can enable you to manage and archive data according to its sensitivity and importance, while some data pieces shouldn’t be accessed by certain employee levels. The communication channel most prone to breaches is email. Email messages often contain sensitive data (either yours or your client’s), creating a high need for an effective email archiving strategy and solution. These tools will make sure all your email-based data is secure, accessible, organized, and in compliance with regulatory rules.  

Information Policy Consistency 

It is important that your information policy is consistent across your entire company and across all your employees. A strong and professional approach to Information Governance makes sure that all your data-based policies are consistent and centralized, allowing you to develop a strong attitude toward data management and meeting all regulatory requirements. 

More Effective Decision-making Processes

Every business that isn’t taking proper care of its information and data management processes is not able to properly collect, store, analyze, and use its data flows for improving its decision-making process. Streamlined operational processes are a prerequisite for a successful business and optimized ROI. Only with a clear overview of all your data can all your teams be as productive as possible.  

Closing Statement 

Regardless of whether you are running a small startup-like company or an enterprise-level organization, you and your teams need to approach Information Governance from a professional standpoint and pay close attention to how your data is being organized and handled. 

Bio: Damian is a business consultant and a freelance blogger from New York. He writes about the latest tech solutions and marketing insights. Follow him on Twitter for more articles

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