Is Information Governance a technology-free zone?

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Some people see Information Governance (IG) as yet another information management technology issue, looking at software platforms to provide the answers. Others claim that IG is a completely technology-free zone. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Let’s first clarify the scope. Among many other activities, IG provides: the information standards for an organization’s core […]

Some people see Information Governance (IG) as yet another information management technology issue, looking at software platforms to provide the answers. Others claim that IG is a completely technology-free zone. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Let’s first clarify the scope. Among many other activities, IG provides:

  • the information standards for an organization’s core systems
  • the policies for master data entry, maintenance, retention, masking and disposition
  • the rules for monitoring data quality
  • the organizational structure to agree, implement, enforce and monitor all this

But IG does not include the actual implementation of a DQ, MDM, BI, DW or Content Management platform. Whenever there is a need to implement such a platform, there needs to be a separate project, with guidance from the Chief Data Officer and IG teams, but outside of the IG structure. In other words: IG is a foundational layer for other information management disciplines, but does not include them.

So if IG programs don’t touch such tools, why else would IG need to leverage software? Well, information architects need data modelling tools. And data quality dashboards require some sort of profiling capability, even if it’s just Excel or a SQL database.

And, once your IG program has matured to a place where it has generated dozens of standards (new or updated), policies, processes and guidelines you may want to host them on some kind of central, accessible Intranet or SharePoint portal.

Or, alternatively you could capture them in a dedicated IG platform from leading IG or metadata management tool vendors such as IBM, Collibra, Embarcadero (ERwin), Informatica or SAP (see also “The Forrester Wave: Data Governance Tools” of June 2014).

These specialist tools provide significant rigour in managing and maintaining IG standards etc., even if they lack the ease of use and company-wide transparency of a simple Intranet portal. How to log, maintain and publish IG outputs is a decision each organization has to consider for itself.

For more information on Capgemini’s QuickStart Information Governance framework, please contact Ralf Teschner.

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