While regulatory compliance or litigation activities are often the spur for initiating Information Governance, there are a wide range of benefits for any company that implements an Information Governance programme.
These include the tangible cost savings from better IT and information storage utilisation when the unnecessary data is removed from corporate systems. Information Governance will not only identify information that has no value to an organisation, but also the systems and storage media that are no longer required for processing or managing that data.
Increasingly, many organisations are focusing on the business agility and profitability benefits of an effective Information Governance programme. By clearly understanding the value of the information you have and setting in place the processes and procedures to securely access it when and where required, an organisation can unlock the potential of their information in areas such as business analytics and collaboration.
Here is our list of key benefits:
Information Governance turns that data into business information by setting the policies and procedures to ensure that there are as few instances of that information as possible, that it is securely accessible to the people who need it and it is removed from the organisation as quickly as possible to meet regulatory compliance.
Information Governance enables fast and thorough e-Discovery by allowing only appropriate information to be easily identified and accessed. What could take a team of lawyers many months to complete can be accomplished with a fraction of the manpower and costs.
As the regulatory environment changes and grows, gathering data for an audit can be achieved simply and efficiently. Record retention can be automatically built into the process, as can effective information security procedures to minimise business risk.
Information Governance outlines at a strategic level how that information will be made available to business users. It sets out how unstructured information from both inside and outside the company can be combined with the structured data held in corporate databases to drive business agility.
Information Governance sets the standard for the way that all information is organised, categorised and accessed.
Information Governance can ensure that there are as few versions of a document or piece of information as possible and that the information is stored appropriately for the people that need to access it.
Information Governance helps you to understand the value that information sets have for particular business users. It provides a strategic framework for new IT systems to ensure that business users also understand that value and can work in a way that is as natural as possible for them.
Information Governance highlights where legacy data that provides no value still resides within the company. Often, much of the information within an organisation will have outlasted the person who put it there anyway. It will also identify entire applications and systems that are obsolete but still consuming space and management costs.
Controlling and reducing the proliferation of information storage and infrastructure, can help lower the number of personnel required to manage its data centres.
Information Governance is built on a foundation of identifying the true value of information within the organisation. A major part of this is ensuring that unnecessary data is removed as soon as possible. Defensible disposal enables the organisation to automate the process of deletion to meet document retention and regulatory requirements.
Organisations must be able to create a secure and managed environment to encourage collaboration between employees as well as with customers, suppliers and partners. This is the role of Information Governance. Putting in place the policies and procedures to ensure the organisation can leverage its chosen collaboration platform in a way that maximises business value while minimising the risk.
Information has to be stored and searchable – whether electronic or paper – so that it can be quickly and easily retrieved when required. Information Governance will include the automatic classification of information so that it will always be available as long as it has value to the organisation.
This means enacting the same Information Governance process of identifying which information is relevant, establishing its value and risk to the organisation and setting the policies and procedures for management throughout its lifecycle.
Information Governance introduces the discipline required to have a single centralised information management policy that can be applied throughout the organisation. Record management features such as a Master Document Template allow for information standards to be imposed but have the flexibility to meet the needs of local business and regulatory requirements.