Top 3 Information Governance Practices for Becoming a High-Performer

In our previous blog, we discussed the tools and tactics organizations are implementing with their IG programs in order to get the most out of their information.  

The Information Governance Best Practices, was targeted at uncovering which tools and tactics organizations use to help alleviate the challenges brought on by the unstructured data explosion. We identified 18 different tools and 14 different tactics that organizations implement under the Information Governance umbrella. Through this research, we wanted to prioritize which practices should be recommended to organizations on the IG journey.

Through this research, we categorized organizations into two groups: High-performers and low-performers. No company ever wants to be considered a low-performer because that would mean they aren’t implementing the right tools and strategies to be as effective and agile as possible.

When it comes to the overall effectiveness of Information Governance (IG) programs, we conducted a survey to find out what percentage of companies are using their IG programs effectively, and from there we determined what best practices high-performers have in common that make them successful at achieving their objectives.

The Information Governance Initiative defines IG as “The activities and technologies that organizations employ to maximize the value of their information, while minimizing associated risks and costs.”

Overall, based on how effectively organizations attained their Information Governance goals,  the survey results showed that 60% of responding organizations were considered low-performers compared to 40% of which were high-performers.

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As a reminder, our survey evaluated the level of adoption of 32 different Information Governance tools and tactics and the outcomes organizations were able to drive with their Information Governance programs.  Interestingly, we uncovered that high-performers rely more heavily on three types of  tools and tactics way more than  low-performers.  With the majority of other tools and tactics being equally adopted, it appears that these three buckets of activity are the defining attributes that facilitate top-tier performance. 

The Top 3 Characteristics of High-Performing Information Governance Strategies

  1. High-Performers Value Information

High-Performers know  the difference between their junk data and their most valuable data.  This enhanced understanding of their information assets allows them to identify potential risks before they become threats and puts their organization in the ideal position to leverage their information assets to fuel growth. These are the  tools and tactics that allow organizations to value their data:

  • File Assessments: to understand what type of data they are storing
  • ROT Assessments: to understand what data can be expired
  • File Analysis: to collect information on the data’s usage
  • Risk Scoring: to understand which data contains the biggest risk
  • Asset Valuation: to include data as a balance sheet item

As we look at these 5 tools and tactics you can see how crucial it is to know your data in and out, so that you can identify what you need, and what you don’t quickly.

  1. Using Automation and Integration

It is important for organizations to know how to automate and integrate workflows while managing their data lifecycle from end-to-end. High-performers achieve this by using the following:

  • IG Platforms: to eliminate redundancy, deploy smart policies, and protect access to critical information through a single pane of glass.
  • Information Lifecycle Management Plan for Unstructured Data: to ensure they have a plan for managing the life of unstructured data
  1. Performing Ongoing Monitoring

To become a high-performer, organizations need to always know what is happening with their data. It is important to be able to monitor and spot changes to the data and identify outlier activity that might cause bigger issues in the future if left untreated. High-performers rapidly spot these issues using these tools and tactics: 

  • Policy Violations: to spot activities that break corporate, security, and privacy policies that could put them at risk and make them non-complaint
  • Irregular Behavior: to catch abnormal behavior that can cause a threat or lead to a malicious insider activity

 

By quickly spotting these issues, they can quickly remediate before it becomes a problem for   the organization.

Now that we have gone over these Information Governance best practices that High-Performers are implementing, it’s time to take a look at your organization and determine where exactly it  stands. No more excuses, it’s time to start acting.

So now let me ask you this:

Are you a low-performer? Or are you effectively implementing your IG program?