Key Points about Information Governance

The concept of information governance has rapidly gained popularity since 2009. Generally, practitioners in the field of enterprise information management (EIM) seem to embrace the value of information governance. This field confuses and fascinates a wider audience than the records and information management (RIM) community. Today, there is no information management event that does not embrace the information governance mantra.

Why Should You Implement Information Governance?

You might be wondering what are the reasons for this trend and what is really behind this hype or is it still a fad? Information governance which includes data cleaning seems to be becoming a trendy container to capture almost anything and everything in the information management world. The RIM community is trying to capitalize on this term in order to get a seat at the executive table and break out of the dusty image of managing documents in a paper-based environment. IT has used the term to strengthen the strategic aspects of IT risk and compliance and to address IT-related disciplines in a holistic view, but they mostly confuse IT governance with information governance.

Why Information Governance?

Over the past few years, trade associations, interest groups, and experts from the RIM and IT communities, primarily based in the United States, have asked themselves two questions:

  • Is the notion of records and records management as a discipline still fit for purpose?
  • Shouldn’t we reconsider all the requirements of the classical view of information lifecycle management in a more holistic, decompartmentalized way, in connection with all the interdependencies between related disciplines in the broader domain of the Enterprise Information Management (EIM)?

With respect to the first question, the RIM community considers that it no longer makes sense to approach information lifecycle management solely with a narrow focus on records retention and disposal. In the future, we are unlikely to ask whether any type of relevant information will be qualified and declared as a record or not, especially when on average only 7{30e1e3cc3b71de8c0a27167c6109bceeceab7eef588d8b18f060b1fde71c7e67} to 9{30e1e3cc3b71de8c0a27167c6109bceeceab7eef588d8b18f060b1fde71c7e67} of the content information of a company is managed as official or as managed documents.

Shouldn’t we ask ourselves instead: how long do we need all the relevant information, why do we need it, how and how often do we use it, and what is permitted while we keep or retain it. We immediately involve many stakeholders within the organization to contribute, and each contributor benefits from the responses of others. It should be noted, however, that most information governance requirements are not new, nor are the building blocks that make up information governance really new.