Information Governance is about people, process and technology – in that order. Technology is not a silver bullet, it is the facilitator. Once the plans, policies and procedures are developed, an organisation can begin to create the technology infrastructure that will enable the full benefits of centralised information management.
There are some key areas that all Information Governance programmes have in common in which organisations should consider investing. Core technology components include:
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) allows organisations to take a holistic approach to how information is created and managed within the business. It provides an over-arching environment where content can be accessed, consumed, shared and collaborated on. These software packages have governance features built-in such as security, audit, metadata management and process management. The ECM solution selected should be able to accommodate other systems within the environment to allows for greater control and flexibility. An example of a leading ECM solution is OpenText Enterprise Content Management.
Records Management is a key component of Information Governance. It provides the classification of content and drives retention and disposal on information based on its classification. The Records Management solution should aid the regulatory compliance process by including the requirements for a wide range of regulations such as ISO, MoReq, Sarbanes-Oxley and OFR Part 11. The solution should also enhance the security of information beyond basic user rights to help ensure data integrity and enforce the defensible disposition of content.
Auto-Classification uses content analytics to review and understand content then apply the appropriate records management classification to it. Auto-classification is vital to Information Governance as the huge volume of information makes manual classification almost impossible. It removes the burden of classification from end users and helps the adoption of new Information Governance systems that do not radically alter the user’s work processes. Leading auto-classification solutions include OpenText Auto-Classification.
Information sharing and collaboration is essential to increase productivity. But there is a tension between the goals of collaboration platforms designed to make information sharing more effective and Information Governance built around centralised control and information security. There has to be a balance where business users can securely collaborate both inside and outside the organisations while the organisation retains full control of the information within the collaboration platform. For many, the solution is to select an ECM package from providers such as OpenText, that allows for the tight integration with key collaboration platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint. In this way, the business users are provided with an environment where they can still use the collaboration solution they are comfortable with but how information is created and shared is tightly controlled and managed.
Imaging is the process of transferring paper documents into an electronic format. This may involve simple scanning or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to make the content within the document editable and searchable. With imaging, documents can be captured, archived and linked to all types of business objects within enterprise applications so that the content can be brought under the Information Governance programme. Depending on retention periods, it may be possible to dispose of the original paper documents as long as it can be demonstrated that the electronic version is authentic and accurate.
Archiving provides secure, cost-effective, multi-faceted storage of all information in a scalable repository built to accommodate large volumes of data at different stages of its lifecycle. Leveraging a single tiered repository to store and access critical information, archiving accelerates response times when searching and retrieving information while minimising storage costs and increasing the utilisation of existing storage systems.