Information Governance is a simple concept but implementation can be complex. Many companies choose to work with an Information Governance provider to help them get the most for their Information Governance investments. If you are considering this approach, view the recommendations below first.
Any provider should be able to demonstrate experience in providing a wide range of consultancy services across all of the key areas of Information Governance, including:
- Assistance in the creation of an Information Governance Steering Committee
- Help with the definition of information repositories, ensuring that consideration is given to external and internal information as well as structured and unstructured data
- Assistance with the creation of data models
- Assistance in developing an infrastructure where appropriate information access interacts seamlessly with organisational security processes and procedures
- Assistance in defining the value of business information
- Assistance in developing classification, retention and defensible disposal strategies
The tools to make it happen
While consultancy is an important element, maximum return on investment is achieved where the provider underpins its services with a comprehensive toolkit of the software and technologies required to implement Information Governance including:
- Provision of a proven and flexible Information Governance framework
- Provision of Information Governance policy and procedure templates
- Provision of software solutions covering areas such Enterprise Content Management, records management, auto-classification, imaging, information security and archiving
- Provision of proven measurement and performance improvement metrics
An extensive and expanding portfolio
Information Governance is a process of continuous improvement. This should also be true for your service provider. A key advantage of working with a provider is the requirement on the provider to keep abreast of industry best practice. Its service portfolio should be constantly improving and new services appearing. For example, Cloud-based Information Governance services are gaining popularity. When selecting a provider, it is worth considering whether the organsation has the global infrastructure necessary to deliver Information Goverance services securely over the Cloud.
While it is true that local providers can offer excellent services for their local market, organisations that operate internationally require an Information Governance provider with international experience. Its products and services must be backed international consulting and support resources. With so many global regulations, the provider must be aware of the operating environment within different industries in different countries and regions. It is highly beneficial if the provider can provide multi-lingual support.
Information Governance is one of the most vital programmes that an organisation will embark upon. When it covers many geographies and jurisdictions, it is too important to trust to a service provider whose services sound good but are unproven. For peace of mind, the provider must not just have global experience but be able to demonstrate it. Due diligence must include references – preferably within your industry and operational footprint.
An established presence
As any Information Governance programme is a long-term undertaking, it is important that the selected service provider will be around for many years to come. Even, the potential of mergers and takeovers may place too much of a risk to the Information Governance programme. An international Information Governance provider must be able to demonstrate the innovation, business health and organisational size to ensure it can be an effective partner today and into the future.