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The Information Governance Initiative (IGI) recently released its third annual “State of Information Governance” report . Highlights include a sharp rise in IG projects underway and a shift toward organizations deriving value out of properly stored data. Indeed, nearly twice as many respondents (176percent of prior-year baseline) indicated that they are extracting business value from their information.

While external factors to include data breaches and data privacy regulations largely drive IG projects, there is mounting internal pressure to reduce storage costs, limit exposure to potential data breaches, and consolidate data. IGI found that respondents overwhelmingly agreed that information governance is an essential component of internal and external cybersecurity.

Below are key takeaways from the report, including respondent results and IGI’s analysis and recommendations.

Defining Information Governance

The definition of IG has stabilized, and can be captured as “the activities and technologies that people employ to maximize the value of their information while minimizing the associated risk.”

What Drives IG Progress?

The top 4 motivators were similar across practitioners and providers:

  • Address external regulatory, compliance, and other legal obligations to include the impending European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Mitigate risk
  • Reduce storage costs
  • Respond to external triggers (lawsuits, investigations, data breaches and more)

Barriers to Awareness and Efficacy

Corporate Information Governance Officers (CIGO) are sorely needed in order to coordinate authoritatively within an organization.

IG in Practice:

Respondents undertaking IG projects rose dramatically, with 71 percent managing active IG projects and only 2 percent reporting that they have never initiated an IG project. “Defensible deletion” of data is on the rise.

  • 11 percent more organizations reported charging a single individual with IG management responsibilities.
  • Professionals with “Information governance” in their title leapt upward, with a 41 percent increase over the prior year.
  • More organizations are extracting business value from data (46 percent of respondents).
  • IG projects seem to evolve from foundational efforts around policy updates and digitization to data consolidation, clean-up, and defensible deletion.

The report reflects general growth and increased maturity of the IG discipline as more organizations create IG leadership, undertake IG projects, and evolve toward sophisticated IG management. More effort is needed, particularly in educating internal stakeholders regarding the value of IG. As respondents are increasingly aware, advanced IG practices contribute to the organization’s security – and to its bottom line.

Drinker Biddle is among the founders of the IGI, which is a think tank and community dedicated to advancing the adoption of Information Governance (IG) practices and technologies through research, events, advocacy and peer-to-peer networking.

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