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Five Common Challenges of Implementing Information Governance

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Anthony David Giordano, author of Performing Information Governance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Information Governance Work, explains the main objections that prevent organizations from implementing information governance, or that keep information governance from being successful once implemented. Learn how to overcome these challenges, as well as how information governance can add value when performed in your organization.
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Information governance is a highly integrated process that spans the business processes and information technology (IT) functions of an organization. The success or failure of an information governance implementation is usually related to how thoughtfully an organization addresses known implementation challenges. This article reviews five of the most common challenges:

  • Right-sizing an information governance process
  • The impact of existing industry standards
  • Information-management maturity
  • The "Big Data" conundrum
  • Information governance: Project or process?

Right-Sizing an Information Governance Process

"Make sure that the solution fits the problem."

Many information governance implementations are based on case studies of large, multi-component information governance efforts. Organizations ramp up data stewardship communities, data quality organizations, and enterprise metadata management environments, incurring tremendous costs, only to find that they "bought" more than they needed.

Most organizations don't realize that information governance is a very broad discipline, encompassing the definition, creation, use, security, ownership, and deletion of all organizational data. This discipline covers a number of functional areas (components). These interrelated components cover the organizational models and roles needed to define and manage the policies and processes that affect the creation, maintenance, and usage of both business and technical data within the enterprise. The individual components are as follows:

  • Information governance organization
  • Data stewardship
  • Data quality management
  • Metadata management
  • Privacy and security
  • Information life cycle management

Few organizations need to implement all aspects of information governance. (Despite what some experts may say!) For example, building an information governance staff of 100 in an organization of 2,000 wouldn't make sense. When organizations plan to implement information-governance processes, they must understand which issues they intend to solve, in order to determine the information governance components they need, but they also must determine an appropriate size for the staffing model.

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