Structuring an enterprise-wide information governance policy

At most organizations there is no C-level executive that owns the information "problem." That problem, as content management experts perceive it, is the governance of company information.

"That leads to huge, huge problems," said Barclay Blair, president and founder of ViaLumina Group, an information governance consulting and professional services firm in New York. If employees can't find the correct data and information when they need it, an organization might find itself at risk for legal actions or compliance issues that result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines or legal fees. An information governance policy will help avoid that.

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This webcast, introduced by Jonathan Gourlay, site and news editor for, and presented by Blair, explains that information governance is really a coin with two sides. On one "is the risk side [and] the other side of that coin is the business value, the upside," said Blair. The key is to understand that they are both part of building an effective information governance strategy.

While a third of organizations agree that developing an information governance policy is important, Blair said, 20% see it as an emergent concept with value and 13% are interested in it but are unsure of how to go about developing an information governance strategy. "The remainder -- 26% -- think of it, somewhat cynically perhaps, as a rebranding of records management and master data management," he said. Blair based his estimates on research his company conducted in 2011 in conjunction with eDiscovery Journal.

But in fact, information governance is actually a comprehensive program of controls, processes and technologies designed to help "maximize the value of information assets while minimizing risks and costs," he said. An information governance strategy can also provide value in helping organizations use their data and information as business assets that can be leveraged in a number of different ways -- from helping executives make better decisions to enabling salespeople close individual deals.

According to Blair, the corporate governance piece is one of the most challenging to place in the enterprise puzzle. "There is no clear leader now," he said, pointing to research that has found 45% of information governance workers don't know who the owner of information governance is in their own organizations. Information professionals need to advocate for that leadership, Blair said.

In this webcast, Blair discusses:

  • Four steps for success in developing an information governance policy;
  • The importance of making sure corporate leadership understands the full value and necessity of information governance;
  • The compliance responsibilities of employees;
  • The tools and policies needed for building a comprehensive information governance initiative;
  • How a successful information governance policy is one that undergoes continuous improvement.

About the presenter:
Barclay Blair is president and founder of ViaLumina Group, an information governance consulting and professional services firm in New York. He has presented on information governance internationally and is acclaimed for his advice to Fortune 500 companies as well as government agencies and software and hardware vendors. He is the author of Information Nation: Seven Keys to Information Management Compliance and Privacy Nation. Blair has taught at George Washington University and has also edited and contributed to several books.

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