More organisations are becoming aware that business success is highly dependent on how well information policies and practices are implemented and then adapted as business goals and market conditions evolve.
If you can provide the right people with the right information at the right time, you will see improved information sharing and decision making in your company.
Three practical benefits of Information Governance for business units include:
Improved Customer Service
Customer service staff can quickly find all of the information they need about a customer and their transactions. This enables the organisation to answer more customer queries first time, on the first call – resulting in happier customers
Shorter Sales Cycles
With contextual information, salespeople can better analyse trends, develop compelling sales messages and close more business
Improved Market Intelligence
By gathering all relevant information on customers and buying trends, more effective Customer Relationship Management and Marketing programmes can be developed, executed and measured
These three business benefits rely on the ability to create a ‘single source of the truth’ – one version of information that can be accessed when required. For example, where duplicate copies exist errors and risk creep in. Then incorrect information is fed into basic, essential business tasks such as taking orders, shipping products and receiving payments, rendering them both ineffective and costly.
Information Governance and Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience
Two thirds of business leaders in a recent Deloitte study cited ‘the overwhelmed employee’ as a top business challenge. So, the ability to better manage information to ensure that employees only have access to the information they need helps to increase productivity and profit.
Information Governance for Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience should:
- Include line of business staff in the Information Governance council from the outset
- Ensure that business users define the value of the information they are using
- Ensure that the information access methods defined for Information Governance are as close as possible to the user’s natural work practices
- Automate as much of the categorisation, classification and tagging of information as possible
- Fully understand where information resides to provide best value for users (while also complying with Information Governance access and security guidelines)
- Fully understand when information can be removed from corporate systems and what the process is for disposal
Key Areas to Consider
Information Governance Council
Consider the role of business users within your Information Governance Council. When setting the initial plan and strategy, the most successful Information Governance programmes will include the business people that will be directly affected by the outcomes. Business people have a much greater understanding of the true business value of information, and can also help to identify where any major information bottlenecks occur.
A key element of Information Governance lies in the way that information is classified and categorised. Once classification is complete, the business can use this knowledge to understand where the real business value of information lies as well as how this information can be identified and retrieved. As the classification will most likely occur within the meta-data and tagging of a piece of information, it is important to automate as much of the classification process as possible so that it doesn’t become a burden and affect the daily operations of business users.
Within Information Governance, Records Management establishes records policy and practices that are applied according to the business value of the content to the organisation. More than this, through automatic categorisation, information is more easily identified and retrieved, as well as managed, through its life cycle from initial creation to deletion. Records Management is the pillar of Information Governance that can help an organisation to bring the same level of control and accessibility of unstructured information that is has of structured data.
Defensible disposal helps companies to curb storage growth and costs as well as ensure that regulatory organisations requirements for information are met. It should also be used to underpin business activities as it ensures that irrelevant or duplicate information is kept to a minimum. This is especially true with unstructured information, the majority of which is likely to be duplicated or unnecessary.
The world is changing and external communication is no longer simply email. There are an expanding number of communications channels that must be managed. Today, vital business intelligence on market trends and customer preference can be found within Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media channels are gaining more importance with sales and marketing when engaging with customers and prospects. So, any Information Governance programme should include instant messaging and these social media channels.
Click to go to Best Practices