Top 9 Information Governance Tips for 2022
The digital world has changed the way we live our lives. It has also changed the way organizations do business. With so much information being generated, it becomes more difficult for organizations to manage it all and ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR and HIPAA. Information governance helps organizations maintain control of their information while complying with these regulations.
What is Information governance, you may ask? It’s the systematic way of managing and governing data and information. It’s a set of policies, processes, and procedures designed to ensure the appropriate protection, use, retention, disposal, and destruction of records.
There are some best practices that should be carefully examined and planned for in order to increase the likelihood of implementing an effective information governance program within your organization. These practices will help organizations to create an effective program that increases ROI, protects the company’s information assets, and maintains compliance with regulatory requirements.
For an organization's information governance best practices to work, they need to have an Information Governance Policy. This document outlines how the organization should store its information, how it should be accessed, and who has access to it. It also states what happens if there is any kind of security breach or data loss.
Let's begin by thoroughly defining these best practices, shall we?
What Are The Top 9 Information Governance Best Practices in 2022?
Organizations need to create a framework for organizing and controlling how information is created, stored, shared, accessed, and destroyed to maintain its availability while balancing its cost-effectiveness with other organizational needs. This includes compliance with laws or regulations governing information use or retention periods.
Information governance is becoming increasingly important as we rely more on digital information. There are nine best practices that can help organizations meet the challenges of digital transformation and information governance. Let’s dive in!
1. Develop A Clear Understanding of Your Organization's Information Needs
If you're in a position of authority, the first thing you should do is ensure that information governance best practices are being followed. This includes understanding your organization's information needs clearly and determining how those needs translate into policies, procedures, and plans.
It's not enough to have policies and procedures in place. You need to be able to implement them with an integrated approach capable of identifying, controlling, and stewarding information throughout the lifecycle. This includes understanding how information is being used in your organization and the impact that might have on your business operations.
2. Ensure Executive Management Buy-in
Achieving buy-in from the management team is essential to any successful Information Governance strategy. From the very beginning, they need to be involved in the process to ensure that objectives are aligned with their business goals and priorities. However, this is not always easy to do because senior executives may not have time for this type of project.
The lack of buy-in from managers has led to many organizations not achieving the desired level of success with their information governance programs.
A few reasons why this might happen are:
- Managers are not fully aware of the benefits of these programs or how they work
- They don't see it as a priority for them to be involved in these programs, or they don't have time for it
3. Build A Professional Team
One of the most important aspects of information governance is ensuring that it is championed by an individual or team who can work with stakeholders to develop a strong strategy. If done right, it can improve the effectiveness of an organization's business processes, increase customer satisfaction, and trust, and reduce costs.
Ultimately, this team should include representatives from various departments who will clarify any rules, regulations, or important aspects of managing their information and make sure that everyone follows the same procedures and practices.
4. Define Your Strategy
An information governance strategy is required to define the type of information you manage and your process for managing and maintaining it. This strategy will need to be revisited periodically as the needs of your company change. This will ensure that you are creating a system that works for your company rather than a system that someone else made, which may not work for you.
An IG strategy is a set of policies, processes, and procedures that an organization has in place to preserve and protect information. It is an integral part of the overall IT strategy because it determines how the organization will manage its data.
Information governance encompasses four major components:
- Data classification
- Data retention
- Data protection
- Data sharing
5. Establish Policies and Procedures
After establishing a solid Information Governance program, one should develop policies and procedures to be followed by all stakeholders. Policies and procedures are needed to cover everyday information governance activities such as access control, data retention, data destruction, and records management.
All stakeholders should review policies and procedures to keep up with current changes in the industry. They should consider the organization's mission statements, strategic goals related to information governance, departmental infrastructure, and so on.
Following the Covid19 pandemic, these policies should also outline how employees can access business data from anywhere without compromising security.
6. Automation, Automation, and Automation
Manual work on various IG activities is costly, error-prone, and depletes your most valuable resources. With the advancement of technology and available systems, organizations need to automate their information governance process as much as possible because it helps them save time and money, improve efficiency, reduce risks, avoid costly manual errors, and satisfy regulatory requirements.
The first step in automating information governance activities is identifying what processes are being performed manually. Once these are identified, they can be automated using several technologies and tools.
7. Keep Up-To-Date with New Legislation and Regulations As They Emerge
Legislation and regulation are constantly changing. To stay on top of these changes, it is imperative to keep up to date on new legislation. This ensures that all work will comply with the latest requirements and restrictions.
8. Conduct Regular Audits to Ensure Compliance with Policies and Procedures
There are many reasons why it's critical to conduct regular audits. Some of these reasons include ensuring compliance with policies and procedures is maintained. You will also need to identify potential problems before they reach a wider audience and provide feedback to management on how well policies and procedures are being enforced.
Effective IG requires a commitment to ongoing improvement.
9. Conduct Training for Employees
Employees should be trained in best practices around data governance. They should know their responsibility to safeguard data and understand their various roles. Training is the most effective way to reach employees and needs to be ongoing with refreshers every few months as regulations evolve.
Furthermore, it gives them the impression that they are a part of the process, which will undoubtedly aid in the implementation phase.
If you're launching a new IG program, follow these nine best practices to increase the likelihood of a successful program implementation, which has become increasingly important in a world where information generation is constantly growing.
About Haissam Abdul Malak
Haissam Abdul Malak is the digital product manager for an enterprise content management solution being developed for one of the Middle East's largest construction companies. He gained valuable knowledge in information management related topics over the years while assisting in the implementation of IM best practices on the most complex construction projects. Furthermore, he owns a blog where articles about this domain are published to help raise awareness about the importance of information management.