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When it comes to information governance, the good news is that most enterprise organizations can at least grasp its significance in running a tight (and profitable) ship, according to the latest research from Veritas. The bad news is that relatively few businesses have mastered the practice.
Information governance essentially describes an end-to-end approach to managing, protecting and extracting the maximum value of enterprise data, typically stored as business records or documents. To accomplish this, CIOs, IT managers and business leaders use a wide range of technologies, management tools and policies to ensure that information is not only routed, stored and used appropriately, but that it doesn't wind up in the wrong hands causing regulatory compliance and privacy headaches.
Veritas' latest study (PDF), conducted by Ipsos Research, indicates that a great many enterprises are struggling with those very issues.
Although 94 percent of the 481 IT, security and legal professionals surveyed for the report said their organizations have a formal information governance program either in place or in the planning stages, few of those programs are living up to their full potential. Only 40 percent of organizations qualify as "high-performers," meaning they are largely successful in attaining desired outcomes from their information governance programs.
The top five desired outcomes, as determined by the survey takers, were protecting highly sensitive information; complying with regulations; determining who is accessing their information; protecting their organization and/or its brand; and finally, creating information policies.
Compared to low-performers, "high-performers were nearly 50 percent more effective with information governance tools," stated the report. In general, high-performers were adept in deleting data that lacks value and are better able to determine the value of individual pieces of data, which in turn informs their information governance strategies.
Veritas' State of Information Governance report for 2016 also revealed that the vast majority of enterprises have formal data-use policies (88 percent) and impose information governance training on their employees (84 percent). Since these tactics rely heavily on end-user compliance and diligence in following the rules rather than IT-assisted automation, Veritas warns that businesses may have trouble keeping up with data growth rates of 39 percent year-over-year.
In terms of information governance tools, top-performing enterprises generally employ technologies that help them discover violations of data use policies and can be used to classify and analyze files. These organizations also typically use file archiving, information governance and email deduplication solutions, Veritas found.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.