Creating a successful information governance (IG) program requires a solid foundation and a clear understanding of what IG entails. Building a strong foundation for your IG program involves several key steps:
- Develop a comprehensive IG roadmap: This roadmap should outline the key goals and objectives of your IG program, as well as the steps needed to achieve those goals. It should also identify any potential roadblocks and how they will be addressed.
- Conduct an IG assessment: This assessment should identify the current state of your organization’s information assets and assess the risks and opportunities associated with managing those assets.
- Update and harmonize your policies: It is essential to have clear, up-to-date policies in place to guide the management of your organization’s information assets. This includes policies on data retention, privacy, and security.
- Create a data map and catalog: A data map and catalog can help you understand the flow of information within your organization and identify any potential risks or inefficiencies. This will be particularly useful in the event of a data breach or other incident.
- Implement indexing and data classification: Indexing and data classification can help you understand the value and sensitivity of your organization’s information assets, and make informed decisions about how to manage them.
- Identify and eliminate redundant or obsolete (ROT) data: ROT data can take up valuable storage space and pose a risk to your organization if it is not properly managed. Identifying and disposing of ROT data can help you free up resources and reduce risk.
- Migrate retained data to systems of record: It is important to ensure that your retained data is stored in systems of record, which are designed to manage and protect important information assets. This will help you ensure that your data is secure and easily accessible.
- Implement data and records management in all systems of record: Data and records management should be integrated into all systems of record to ensure consistent, effective management of your organization’s information assets.
- Improve and integrate your privacy program: A strong privacy program is essential to protect your organization’s information assets and build trust with customers and stakeholders. Integrating your privacy program with your IG program can help you ensure that your organization is fully compliant with relevant privacy laws and regulations.
In addition to these technical steps, it is also important to establish a strong foundation for success by:
- Understanding what IG is and isn’t: It is important to have a clear understanding of what IG entails and how it differs from related concepts such as data management and records management.
- Bringing together key stakeholders with a unified vision: It is essential to engage key stakeholders in the development of your IG program and to ensure that there is a shared vision for the program across the organization.
- Building a holistic program with buy-in across stakeholders: IG is not a standalone function, but rather a cross-functional effort that involves many different departments and teams. It is important to build a program that has buy-in from all relevant stakeholders to ensure its success.
- Establishing a business case for IG and obtaining an independent budget: IG can provide significant benefits to an organization, including cost savings, risk reduction, and improved efficiency. It is important to make a strong business case for IG and to secure an independent budget to ensure that the program has the resources it needs to succeed.
- Prioritizing program development by immediate cost savings and risk reduction: By prioritizing program development based on immediate cost savings and risk reduction, you can demonstrate the value of your IG program to stakeholders and build momentum for future efforts.
- Striking the optimal balance between cost/risk controls and extracting value.
View our Information Governance Roadmap to see where you are today in your journey and what your next steps to success should be.