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BLOG: Reaching information governance zen

Koh Eng Kheng | Sept. 19, 2011
Find organisational harmony and economic balance amid eDiscovery and compliance chaos.

Over the years, countless articles, research papers and industry experts have focused on all the barriers to effective information governance, providing endless reasons and rationale for why information management is such a difficult undertaking. Varying corporate philosophies and practices for assessing the value and risk of different types of information have created myriad challenges-but few solid answers. Adding fuel to the fire: old-school siloed IT approaches for collecting, categorising, classifying, searching and analysing information didn't allow for straightforward collaboration and coordination.

Fortunately, a new generation of technology has evolved to where organisations can now leverage unified information management frameworks that provide flexible foundations for addressing legal and regulatory requirements. A unified strategy makes it possible for IT and business stakeholders to identify and assess the value of their corporate information from a common point of reference. As a result, enlightened organisations have begun to look at information governance as an opportunity to improve business agility while simplifying compliance and eDiscovery.

The ability to pinpoint data ownership and then follow information as it flows throughout organisations is an important first step in building a framework for streamlining information governance. Equally important: determining the ultimate lifecycle of this information to facilitate different retention policies based on business access, value and risk requirements.

In a recent report on innovations in information infrastructure, industry analyst firm Gartner recommended that IT leaders and business staff work together to make their organisations more information-centric[1]. The firm also advocates shifting the value from information systems to the information itself, which requires assessing both the value and risk of vital organisational assets.

The best way to complete this process calls for capturing all business records, regardless of their source, and then consolidating them in a single, unified framework. Take into consideration: asset type, risk, retention, accessibility, protection, security, lifecycle and destruction.

Quick and efficient access combined with easy sharing of vital business records not only boosts end-user productivity and organisational efficiency, it simplifies the complete records lifecycle management-from creation to retention and disposition. Moreover, effective long-term records management helps organisations reduce the amount of data repositories that need to be created and managed across sites, geographies and all media types. The result is a powerful, boundless approach to the unified management of records without the constraints of old-school records silos.

Unified information management holds the key to streamlined, simplified governance as it replaces separate silos of records and vital data with an all-encompassing framework for reducing the time, cost and risks associated with eDiscovery, compliance, retention and records management. This framework also allows organisations to make major improvements in acquiring, authenticating, classifying, preserving, exporting and retaining business-critical information.

 

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