What is Information Governance? Why is it Important?

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak
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Information governance and records management are essential responsibilities of any business. Without them, businesses risk fines and lawsuits due to violations of labor law regulations, as well as compliance with privacy regulations.

Information governance is the management of information resources. It ensures that an organization’s information assets are used effectively, efficiently, and securely. In terms of information security policy, it also provides protection against unauthorized access to data and systems.

Having an effective IG strategy that follows the latest IG trends is a critical factor for any organization to ensure compliance with rules and industry regulations, prevent data breaches, and eliminate the risk of fines and lawsuits.

What is Information Governance?

Information governance is the management of information resources. It ensures that an organization’s information assets are used effectively, efficiently, and securely. With regards to data security, it also provides protection against unauthorized access to data and systems.

It is an important part of information management and any successful business strategy. It helps organizations develop a strategy to meet their business objectives while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and minimizing risks associated with information risks.

It is rather difficult (perhaps impossible) to do IG without first understanding your data, where it is, and how it is secured.

IG happens when you know what people need from the information, you know what liability (privacy, security) is in the information, and continuously leverage the information for future decision-making.

What are the main objectives of information governance?

The main objectives of information governance are:

1- Ensure information accuracy and integrity

Organizations must guarantee that the information at their fingertips is accurate, of high quality, and up to date in order to make informed business decisions. A well-implemented IG strategy allows firms to rely on their most valuable assets.

2- Protect information with robust security

The information you collect throughout your business operation may be confidential and contain sensitive data that should not be made public. That is why it is vital to preserve highly sensitive information in order to gain the trust of your stakeholders.

3- Promote compliance with regulations

New regulations are brought on a regular basis, and businesses are required to adhere to these standards in order to remain compliant and avoid fines. A proper IG implementation will assist you in being compliant while getting the most out of your data by understanding its main principles.

4- Ensure information is available

Information that is not accessible and visible to the appropriate audience is a waste of resources, which is why companies must ensure that information is constantly available and visible to the appropriate audience at the appropriate time.

5- Enhance the value of information

When information is managed efficiently throughout the organization and information silos are reduced, information value increases, allowing you to make better decisions and improve efficiency.

Why Information Governance is Important?

Information governance is important because it helps organizations ensure that they have a healthy and secure environment for their data. It also helps them to address any potential threats or risks that may arise with their data.

There are many benefits to implementing effective Information governance within an organization. IG can help to improve the quality of corporate data, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and protect sensitive information.

Additionally, It can help to improve communication and collaboration between different departments within an organization, as well as between different organizations.

The list of information governance benefits includes:

1- Improved decision-making

When organizations have quick and easy access to accurate and up-to-date information, decision-makers are able to make more informed decisions.

Among the top information governance benefits is the ability to give the higher management the ability to take informed decisions to drive more success for the organization.

2- Reduced risk

IG benefits allow organizations to protect themselves from risks such as data breaches, regulatory fines, and litigation.

It can help reduce risks in several ways:

– By ensuring that accurate and up-to-date information is available, IG can help reduce the risk of making decisions based on outdated or incorrect data.

– By establishing clear policies and procedures for managing information, IG can help reduce the risk of information being misused or mishandled.

– By ensuring that information is properly protected, IG can help reduce the risk of unauthorized access or disclosure.

3- Improved compliance

Among the top IG benefits is the ability for organizations to meet compliance requirements and avoid costly penalties.

It can improve compliance by ensuring that information is accurate, complete, and accessible. It can also help organizations to identify and track compliance risks, and to develop and implement policies and procedures to mitigate those risks.

Additionally, it can help organizations to monitor and report on compliance activities, and to investigate and resolve compliance issues.

4- Enhanced security

Among the top information governance benefits is able to safeguard their data from internal and external threats.

IG is the combination of processes, policies, and technologies that organizations use to manage information. When it is effective, it can help organizations to protect their information from security threats.

Organizations can use IG to control access to information, track and monitor information usage, and ensure that information is accurate and up-to-date. By doing so, organizations can make it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access sensitive information.

Additionally, it can help organizations identify and respond to security threats more quickly.

5- Improved efficiency

By streamlining related processes and eliminating duplicate data, organizations can save time and resources.

6- Increased customer satisfaction

When customers can easily find the information they need, they are more likely to be satisfied with your organization.

7- Increased shareholder value

Organizations that effectively manage their information can create shareholder value by improving operational efficiency, reducing

What is the difference between data governance and information governance?

Data governance refers to the overall management and control of an organization’s data assets. It involves defining policies, processes, and responsibilities for collecting, storing, and using data in a consistent and secure manner. It focuses on ensuring data accuracy, integrity, and compliance with relevant regulations.

On the other hand, information governance extends beyond data to encompass all forms of information within an organization. This includes data, documents, records, and knowledge. Information governance takes a broader approach to managing information throughout its lifecycle, from creation to disposal. It involves implementing policies and procedures that facilitate the efficient and effective use of information, while also considering data privacy, security, and legal requirements.

What is an Information Governance Framework?

An IG Framework is a structured and comprehensive approach adopted by organizations to manage and govern their information assets effectively. It is a set of policies, procedures, and guidelines that provide a roadmap for handling information throughout its lifecycle.

The framework outlines the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved in handling information, addresses data privacy and security concerns, and ensures compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

By implementing an IG Framework, organizations can optimize their information usage, enhance data quality, minimize risks, and make informed decisions based on reliable and well-managed information assets.

Types of Information Governance Models

There are 4 types of info policy models:

1- IG policy

This type of policy is used by organizations who need to keep track of data they create and store. They use this model when they have a large amount of data or need to share it with others outside the company.

2- Information control policy

This type of policy is used by organizations who need to protect their data from unauthorized access or use. They use this model when they want to keep their data private or when they don’t want outsiders to know about certain aspects within their company or industry.

3- Data ownership policy

This type of policy is used by organizations who need to control who can use data and for what purposes. They use this model when they want to be able to control who has access to their data, what it can be used for, and how long the data is kept.

4- Data retention policy

This type of policy is used by organizations that need to control how long they keep data.

Retention periods for long-term retention: This type of policy is used by organizations that need to control how long they keep data and when it should be deleted or archived.

• Retention periods for short-term retention: This type of policy is used by organizations that need to control how long specific users have access to data.

What is Included in Information Governance?

IG includes:

I recommend checking the follow article for more information about the components of information governance.

Information Governance Models and How they Work

IG Models help businesses to manage the information that they create.

The four primary models are:

1. Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

The information lifecycle management focuses on the management of data throughout its life cycle, from creation to disposal. In this model, data is managed at each stage of the process by a different party in order to ensure that it is appropriately controlled, archived, and disposed of when no longer needed or appropriate for use. This model is often used by companies that have an established business practice in the form of a document management system (DMS).

Data owners decide which documents should be archived and which should be deleted after a certain period of time. Organization owners or members decide which people are authorized to receive documents. Document owners decide what types of metadata should be included in the document and can include special instructions for how the content should be managed. The product owner decides how long certain documents are kept in a specific folder, which folders are included, and how many backups.

2. The Information Value Model

The Information Value Model is a model used in enterprise information governance to help organizations define the value of their information assets. It has been implemented for use by many organizations around the world, including the United States Department of Energy, the International Football Association Board, and more recently by The University of Texas System.

3. The Information Flow Model

The Information Flow Model is a framework for information governance. It was developed by David Wiley, based on the idea that information should flow from the bottom up and not from the top down. This model is not utilized in all countries, but it is one of many models that have been created to organize and govern information flows.

4. Governance and Risk Management Models

In recent times, with the increase in the number of information assets, governance and risk management models have been implemented, to ensure that all data are protected. This is particularly important in the professional digital industry which is constantly evolving.

Information Governance Models Application in Organizations

The most common types of organizations are private companies and public sector organizations.

Private companies may use ILM to organize the flow of information from creation through usage.

Public sector organizations may use ILM to manage the flow of information from creation through its release into the public domain. It is also used in government agencies such as health departments, hospitals, and schools as well as non- profit organizations. ILM is an example of the open source approach to software development.

Information Policy vs Data Policy

Data policy is the set of rules that govern the collection, use, and sharing of data. Information policy is the set of rules that govern the access to information and freedom of expression.

In recent years, there has been a debate about whether information policy should be separate from data policy. Some argue that this would help to ensure transparency and accountability in data policies. Others point out that this might lead to increased confusion among citizens who are already struggling with understanding how their personal data is being used.

What are the Best Practices for an Effective Implementation of an IM Policy?

There are many ways to implement an effective IM policy. However, the best practices for any organization are as follows:

– Think about the importance of your data and how it will be used

– Establish a clear understanding of what constitutes personal data, sensitive data, and confidential information

– Make sure that you have a strong governance structure in place that includes people with knowledge of the company’s data and policies

– Ensure you have a clear understanding of your business objectives before implementing your policy

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