A well-run business today is like a good movie: behind the scenes a lot of work is required to ensure that the production stays on track. And for today’s organizations, behind the products and sales is the need to effectively managing all the information that keeps the operation running. The challenge is that the amount of information to manage is increasing by leaps and bounds. And with more information being taken beyond the confines of the network on mobile devices and in the cloud, this is creating significant challenges.
The 2012 Symantec State of Information Survey reveals that with all these additional ways to store and access information, 42 percent of business information is duplicate. Having multiple copies of files is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations today. Making the problem more complicated is the finding that 42 percent of information is also hard to find. In addition, more than one-third of organizations don’t know how important this information they are storing actually is to the business. This discord is leading organizations to far less efficient spending on storage than is necessary. More importantly, it has increased the risk profile of information. There is a greater chance of security violations due to business critical information unintentionally leaving your organization, old and unneeded information being produced for litigation, or to incur regulatory violations due to inproper information access or sharing. For example, in the last year, almost one-third of businesses surveyed had missed compliance requirements. Organizations need to protect themselves from information inadvertently being their movie’s “blooper reel.”
The key to overcoming the challenges we are facing in this avalanche of information piling up is to develop an effective information governance program, designed to provide top-down support for the intelligent maintenance of this vital component of your business. Information governance is the application of technology, policies and process to mitigate information from being a liability. Here are three simple steps that can help you make sure your information governance program is a hit:
Ensure C-level buy-in for the information governance program. The corporate culture as a whole should point toward more effective protection of your information, and use of your storage. Your projects and information should align with common business goals of risk mitigation and cost control, reducing the potentially expensive tendency to silo different aspects of the organization. Make it a priority for management.
Concentrate on focused projects. Give attention to specific initiatives such as compliance, eDiscovery and data privacy. With specific goals, it will be easier to procure adequate budget. Implement technologies with a high ROI such as eDiscovery, archiving, deduplication and data loss prevention solutions.
Establish the importance of your information. In order to effectively manage information, you will need to know what it is and how vital it is to business functions. Classify your current information to more easily make decisions concerning storage, security and accessibility.