New regulatory requirements, high profile data breaches and the explosive growth in digital content have forced organizations to re-examine their approach to information governance. In this post, we look at the value of building information governance into core business systems and processes. It’s one of the 7 habits of modern content management and a strategy that allows governance to “just happen” as people go about their daily work.
Information governance drives ECM investment
Information governance is a must for all enterprises and public sector organizations. Gaining control over business information—effectively managing its use, security, retention and disposal—is the only way to meet today’s many compliance obligations. In fact, regulatory or legal compliance is a top driver for ECM investment, according to a study by Forrester1. But the benefits of information governance don’t end there. Good information governance also protects against data loss, reduces security risks and prevents information overload—all of which save valuable time and money.
The increase in data-related regulations is raising the stakes for information governance. Companies are still scrambling to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in May 2018. (Here’s how Alfresco can help). In the U.S., the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation (23 NYCRR Part 500) has set a high watermark for compliance that’s bound to have ripple effects beyond New York State. And federal government agencies face the looming 2019 deadline for NARA’s electronic records management mandate.
Make information governance invisible to users
Technology is an integral component of any good information governance program. Unfortunately, many companies rely on legacy standalone systems that treat governance as a separate activity. A more successful approach is invisible information governance. Modern governance services can be integrated into applications to eliminate the manual steps that trip up so many governance efforts. Governance happens automatically, behind the scenes, as part of everyday business processes. Invisible information governance sets the foundation for a sustainable, consistent, legally defensible program.
Manage records holistically with a hybrid architecture
A strong information governance program requires a unified records management strategy. Organizations must be able to apply standard policies to information assets spread across many different systems: ECM, CRM, ERP, SharePoint, line of business applications, etc. Look for governance services that can manage records in place, in a centralized repository, or both. A hybrid approach is the right call for many organizations. You can quickly add governance to disparate legacy systems, while pursuing a longer-term consolidation strategy to reduce costs and modernize your ECM infrastructure.
The cloud cuts costs and strengthens compliance
More and more organizations are using the cloud as part of their information governance technology stack. Liberty Mutual, for instance, runs Alfresco Governance Services integrated with Alfresco Content Services on Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to CIO Mojgan Lefebvre, the insurer can apply governance policies to a single version of the truth, which has been “a lifesaver” for GDPR compliance (learn more in this webinar with Liberty Mutual). Cloud providers offer a range of storage services. By using low-cost cloud storage for archiving and backup, you can realize significant savings over housing everything on premises.
Modernization creates value beyond compliance
New regulatory requirements are often the impetus for sharpening the focus on information governance. But don’t treat information governance as a check-the-box compliance exercise. Forward-looking organizations use compliance obligations as a catalyst for digital transformation. Solutions that integrate governance, content and process services (BPM) can improve business outcomes by breaking down content silos, automating manual activities and optimizing information flows. See Modernizing Records Management: Taking Action Beyond Compliance for the value of this approach in the public sector.
Visit Build-in Information Governance in the IT Strategist’s Guide to Transforming ECM to learn more about setting your business up with a sound information governance framework.