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There Has Never Been a Better Time to Get Started with IG

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Get Started with IG

Practical advice from seasoned practitioners

Practical advice from seasoned practitioners

Is your organization just getting started with information governance (IG)? Do you need some guidance getting an effective IG program off the ground?

In the recent article, “Information Governance: Establishing a Program and Executing Initial Projects,” IGI Co-Chair, Jason R. Baron discusses the emerging discipline of IG, makes the case for why IG is needed, and explains how to start an effective IG program at your organization, including: how to identify key stakeholders, build support for IG, and prioritize and execute IG projects. The piece, co-authored with Drinker Biddle associate, Amy Marcos, was the cover article in the October/November 2015 issue of Practical Law: The Journal.

According to the article:

The emerging discipline of information governance (IG) is premised on the idea that both public and private institutions can do a better job of dealing with big data in all of its forms and improve organizational responses to e-discovery, compliance, records management, privacy and security demands. Although there is no universal definition of IG, its major tenets are built on minimizing the risks and maximizing the value associated with data through a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach.

The article cites research from the IGI 2014-2015 Annual Report. Key takeaways from the article, include:

  • A principle-based approach to information governance (IG) can help an organization address data issues as they arise, in a way that benefits the organization and IG stakeholders, and outweighs any costs associated with the initial investment.
  • By understanding the components of a successful IG program, counsel can champion IG strategies that minimize risk and maximize the value of a company’s data.
  • Practicing effective IG means bringing together stakeholders from across your organization to discuss data issues, typically including legal, IT, security, data privacy, compliance, human resources, finance, audit, analytics, and records and information management.
  • A corporate governance framework for IG should include a head executive IG stakeholder or champion and an IG steering committee with specific business unit IG sub-committees.
  • An organization should create IG policies and an IG charter, along with updating their data privacy, email, info security and records retention policies.
  • Cleaning up legacy data and using big data analytics will aid in reducing risk and maximizing the value of your organization’s data.

To read more, download a copy of “Information Governance: Establishing a Program and Executing Initial Projects.”

Want to learn more about getting started with IG? Log in to the IGI Community to access the publications and resources that are available for your use.  Not a member, yet? Join today!


Meet Catalyst, the Newest Supporter of the Information Governance Initiative

We are pleased to announce that Catalyst Repository Systems Inc. (Catalyst) is the newest Supporter of the Information Governance Initiative (IGI).

Catalyst designs, hosts and services the world's fastest and most powerful document repositories for large-scale discovery and regulatory compliance. For more than 15 years, corporations and their counsel have relied on Catalyst to help reduce litigation costs and take control of complex legal matters.

“Catalyst is eager to listen and learn from the leaders in the emerging information governance market,” said John Tredennick, CEO. “That’s why we are pleased to support the IGI’s efforts to define the IG space and to bring IG professionals together to advance the state of the art in IG.”

With Catalyst becoming an IGI Supporter, the IGI now has nearly 30 leading IG product and service providers supporting its activities – more than double the number in 2014. This growth and other factor suggest that the predictions contained in our 2014-2015 Annual Report were correct, i.e., that 83% of information governance providers predicted increased revenue in 2015.


Learn more about our Supporters.

Contact us about becoming a supporter or other sponsorship opportunities.


Data and Information Governance: What is the Difference?

IGI explores the question with a panel of big data and governance experts

IGI Explores the Question with a Panel of Big Data and Governance Experts

C-level executives from a variety of industries involved in data storage, data management and data analysis came together at the Big Data Summit in Atlanta from May 17-19 to discuss how companies can effectively manage, protect and leverage the growing amounts of data in the enterprise.

The event, presented by Information Governance Initiative partner CDM Media, allowed attendees to explore strategies and technologies related to real-time data processing, data protection and privacy, meeting industry regulations and compliance, and data storage.

At the event IGI founder and Executive Director Barclay T. Blair led a panel discussion focused on data governance. The panelists were: Paul Childerhose, Director, Data Governance-Traded Products, Scotiabank; Holly Starling, Director, Information Governance, AutoTrader.com; Yogesh Joshi, Head of Big Data and Analytics, AIG; Ranjana Young, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Data, Northern Trust Corp.; and Scott Sokoloff, Chief Data Officer, OrderUp.

During the panel, Blair shared some key insights from the IGI’s 2014 Annual Report including the fact that 93% of the IG community agreed on this authoritative definition of IG: “Information governance is the activities and technologies that organizations employ to maximize the value of their information while minimizing associated risks and costs.”

Blair kicked off the discussion reflecting on the fact that one of the reasons governing information was so difficult was because people – even people within the same company – were unable to agree on the most basic of terms.

For instance, at many organizations, there are two completely different groups doing information governance: one focused on documents and the other on data – one primarily focused on risk, one on data quality, business intelligence and MDB (master data management).

The group agreed that there is not enough connection between the “data” and “information” governance worlds. As a result, the existing corporate governance structures are not sufficient to address both the promise and the risks of big data.

Blair also asked whether information governance actually provided any business value or if it was just about trying to comply with “ridiculous rules imposed on us.” If that was the case, then maybe companies should just sock some money away to pay fines for non-compliance and chalk it up to the cost of doing business, he said.

However, after different use cases and successes were presented to the panelists, they agreed that real value was being generated – through hard work.

“I know that when we talk governance, we are talking about the development, management and enforcement of rules on our data, regardless of the source of those rules,” Blair said.

In practice, however, there’s something very different between data governance focused on internally derived rules centered around technical or quality metrics, and information governance focused on compliance with external, imposed rules and laws, he said.

With the proliferation of information and data in all its forms, controlling it becomes increasingly complex.

“Can we get control of it? Should we even try in a world where it is becoming possible to keep everything forever?” Blair asked. “Are we moving to a world where we will keep everything forever, and if so, what does this mean for us as professionals, for our organizations, and for the world at large?”

The members of the panel agreed that this is already happening. New business models and technology innovations are making the cost of storage increasingly invisible. However, the need to understand and apply the right governance to data and information is only increasing.

“We need to clarify and improve the corporate governance of data governance,” Blair said. “[And] the governance of data and [the governance of] information should converge.”


Chief Information Governance Officer Summit: The Reviews Are In

The single most important industry event I have yet attended; densely packed with immediately useable approaches, methodologies and best practices; staffed by passionate and supremely experienced SMEs - both within and extraneous to the discipline - providing a 360-degree view of the imminent CIGO revolution; overall a grand slam. A definite repeat for next year!

Richard Kessler, Head of Group Information Governance, UBS AG

Most organizations like ours do not publicly share the results of post-event surveys, but at the IGI we work hard to be different and transparent. So, in that spirit, I am going to share results of the May 2015 CIGO Summit participant survey that just came in.

Overall, I'm really happy to see that in almost every metric we exceeded our goals. In one area we could have done better, but I knew that would be the case going in and will explain why. If you missed the CIGO Summit, check out this excellent write-up on the event.

Key results

Overall Event Satisfaction


So honored to be a part of such a diverse group of IG experts. The ability to collaborate and discuss directly with your speakers is invaluable! Leave it to the IGI to start the trend away from the power point/listen/5-minute Q&A all are accustomed to. Exactly what separates IGI/Barclay and the Gang from the impersonators. (Ok - might need to not be so harsh - I've been drinking)


Nearly all participants said they were very satisfied (71%) or satisfied (20%) with the event, proving that our commitment first and foremost to events that provide value to the participants is paying off. As insiders, we have seen with our own eyes that most industry events are actually designed almost exclusively for the sponsors. I believe that this serves neither the sponsors nor the participants. It is a difficult balance to strike, and it is much more work to put the participants first. For the CIGO Summit, we undertook a “by invitation only” model, which meant that I personally invited or approved each and every participant in the room. Believe me, this process is not fun and I had many painful conversations with excellent consultants and experts (personal friends in many cases) as to why they could not attend. Why? Because I wanted to make sure that the room was filled with senior, working IG practitioners. The providers in the room were a select number of excellent subject matter experts from IGI supporters who had funded the event itself. Quite frankly, without those supporters, this event would not have happened. We simply cannot charge attendees enough to cover the costs, much less pay ourselves (see below for more details).

This process was the right process for this event, given its focus and goals. It is not the right, or even necessary, process for other events that we do. For example, our next big event, InfoGovCon15 is inexpensive ($400 or less for 2.5 days), democratic (with session voting), and open to all.

Why Did People Come to the Event?

It is so important, as we all march down this new road, that we learn from each other and exchange lessons learned. I love that this forum gave me a chance to meet my peers and be educated!

Vicki Lee Clewes

Nearly 100% of participants said that the reason they attended was to "learn what others are doing to advance information governance at their organizations.” It is very rewarding to see this result because so much of what we do at the IGI is focused on connecting our members to other members. You consistently tell us things like, “please just help us understand what other organizations are doing,” a request we have worked to fulfill in multiple ways, including our Annual Report, our online community of thousands of IG practitioners, our IG Boot Camps, our soon-to-be-published Benchmarking Report, and events like CIGO Summit and InfoGovCon. The next most common answer was “to network,” a very closely related concept.

How We Did on the Details

What a great and diverse group of colleagues. The event allowed us to share our IG stories. It is so helpful knowing I'm not alone in my IG pain.

Sharon Keck, Polsinelli, PC

Events live or die based on the details, and I was happy that each aspect of our conference from the smallest detail to the highest-level theme was highly rated. (i.e., in each case, higher than 4 out of 5). For example, participants rated the speakers at 4.45, the registration process 4.6, and the individual interaction at 4.26.

Our Speakers

Information is not an IT problem, but a business problem. The CIGO Summit provided the perfect vehicle for developing a corporate cross-functional information strategy (Marketing, E-Discovery, Compliance, IR, Business Practices investigations, etc.) that balances organizational legal and technical challenges while maintaining business critical information in a consistent and defensible manner in order to deliver critical elements to support sustainable growth. I highly recommend it to those that wish to align themselves with thought leaders in the space. Get out in front of the information conundrum (volume rich, knowledge poor) and become an advocate for change.

Tim Kaufman, UTC

Our speakers, who we chose very careful and curated to fit into the overall theme and goal of the event, were also rated very highly, with each speaker receiving a rating over 4 out of 5. A certain senior level IGI official, who hosted and facilitated the event, received the highest speaker rating (but please don’t tell him that as he is already almost unbearable).

Unlike most industry events, we folded paid, professional speakers into the program because we wanted to expose our participants to fresh, expert viewpoints that would help them grow as IG leaders. Those speakers were also rated highly (4.43 and 4.11). We also put our sponsor speakers through the wringer, asking them to encapsulate their most important messages into a 6 minute and 40 second presentation comprised of 20 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. Each one of our sponsor speakers (Sue Trombley, Rob Hamilton, Julie Colgan, and Trent Livingston) rose to the challenge and did a magnificent job under pressure in providing useful, targeted information for this audience, and they were highly rated as well (an average rating of 4 out of 5).

What Did Participants Like Most About the Event?

Participating in the CIGO Summit was a unique opportunity to engage with many of IG's leading professionals. The thorough and fast-paced agenda exceeded my expectations, both from a content perspective and as a venue for the frank exchange of ideas.

Susan Wortzman

Here's what participants told us they liked most about the event:

  • Seniority of delegates.
  • Event size and very interactive.
  • So many senior IG people in one place- there is power in numbers and an agreement on how to move forward.
  • Impactful agenda. Powerful interaction. Brilliantly executed.
  • The interaction with brilliant IG visionaries and practitioners.
  • The care with which it was designed.
  • Being able to interact with so much talent and experience.
  • Being involved with people promoting an emerging field
  • The professionalism with which polarized opinions could be discussed
  • Incredible gathering of IG thought leaders. Great speakers, great activities.
  • I learned a lot, got inspired, and met lots of smart people.
  • Practical insight from practitioners, war stories, gathered a really high-quality group
  • I liked the mix of people who attended and the content was excellent.
  • The constant collaboration and not just a PowerPoint and a person - it was like having a conversation with your speaker.

What Did Participants Like Least About the Event?

When designing this event, I had a pretty good idea what the answer to this question would be:

  • Compressed timeframe.
  • I actually would have liked it to be longer.
  • Intense day - very packed.
  • Not enough time for topic.
  • Not enough time!
  • Time crunch.
  • Very long intense day. Might be better over 1 1/2 days.
  • Went too fast.
  • That it only lasted a day.

I literally cannot think of the last time I went to an event and left thinking that it was too short. If we had to fail in some way, I'm happy to fail in this way. I absolutely acknowledge that that we tried to do too much in one day. But, we had committed to a one-day event (somewhat arbitrarily I suppose, based on the assumption that it would be easier to pull off, which now I realize is not true) a long time ago, and needed to stick with it.

So, I aggressively cut and cut until I arrived at what I though needed to be the minimum topics we needed to cover. I knew it would be intense. I knew it would be too much. But I was more comfortable making a mistake in that direction than the other, which I could not bear: i.e., empty, fluffy, retread content full of the same old platitudes squeezed between hour-long “networking breaks.”

Let’s talk about some of the other things that people did not like:

  • “Having vendors there.”

The market simply does not enable us to host an event like this, with people of this level of seniority, in an accessible major city, with the expected level of fit and finish, without sponsors. Without sponsors, the ticket price of this event just to allow us to break even on the hard costs would have been over $2500, which seems like a lot for a one-day event that does not result in some kind of certification or specific set of marketable skills, or at least promise to change your life forever. If we actually wanted to make money, and cover the thousands of hours of planning and execution time an event like this takes, we would have to charge much more.

Or, we can ask for the support of the providers in our IGI community, which we did. But, we did it in a very considered way. Our sponsors were allowed to send 1 or 2 people (depending on sponsor level) to the event, and not sales and marketing people. They needed to be senior IG subject matter experts who could contribute to the discussion. And that is what we did – we had several of the most recognized provider SMEs in the room who added great value to the discussion.

Also, there is a very clear and obvious reason to “have vendors in the room.” Quite simply, the problem of IG cannot be solved without technology. In my view, information about what technology is available and what it can to is just as valuable as information about experiences, successes, techniques, and tips. At the IGI our mission it to promote IG as far and wide as we can, and that includes promoting awareness of what is possible with technology currently available on the market.

Now the obvious question: why don’t we just do the event at a less expensive location, and let participants pay a lower rate, but one that would cover both the hard and soft costs? Well, if anyone has any ideas on how we attract and satisfy a room of CxO, SVP, VP, and Director-level attendees who already have too much on their plates to an event, venue and location that costs less than half of what a typical venue costs, please call me immediately at (646) 450-4468. That being said, the hotel conference business is not a pleasant one, and we are looking at alternative venues and approaches that can both reduce costs and increase attendee value.

Would People Attend Again?

Hard numbers and soft skills: Great case studies, roadmaps and networking toward elevating the information governance stewardship. Thank you.

Mary Mack

84% of people who attended said it was very likely (52%) or likely (32%) that they would attend this event again next year. We will do this event again, and evolve it each time, many more times. The focus of this first event was to introduce the concept of the CIGO, and to build a Playbook that aspiring CIGOs and other in that ecosystem could use to explain the role and help build the case for it (look for the first edition of the Playbook in July). We will continue to provide education, networking, and community around the topic of IG leadership. We got the ball rolling with this event and will continue as a core part of our mission.

Thank you to everyone who attended and to everyone who made this event a success. If you want to participate in or support our next CIGO Summit, please let me know.




In less than twelve months, our 2014 Annual Survey Report and its Creative Commons infographics have spread far and wide. They have appeared in presentations from IG practitioners looking for executive support. They’ve been used by IG providers looking for investment, and by policy-makers determining our future regulatory environment.

UPDATED Infographic- The Facets of Information Governance (3)

Our most popular infographic from 2014, which we have heard called, “the flower” and “the paint wheel.”

However, a lot can change in a year, especially in the fast-evolving world of IG.

It is time for our 2015 survey, and we need your help. We need 15 minutes of your day to provide insights only you can provide. Later this year we will report the results of your input and provide a number of free, and free-to-use, infographics to help support the adoption and update of IG across the globe.

This research is not possible without your help. We appreciate you time and your insight very much.

Please click here to participate.



I am proud to announce that we have grown by 100% since our launch just one year ago. We are humbled and honored that so many great organizations have decided to join us in promoting the practice of Information Governance. We all share the conviction that IG is the best chance that organizations have to truly get their information under control and to maximize its value. That’s why we created the Information Governance Initiative – and why we want you to be a part of it.

The IGI launched with a group of Charter Supporters that included Active Navigation, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Equivio, Fontis International, HP Autonomy, Iron Mountain, kCura, Nuix, OpenText, Recall, Recommind, RSD, ViaLumina, Xerox, and ZyLAB. Our Charter Supporters joined us when the IGI was nothing more than an idea and a promise, and we are pleased that each of them (minus one who was acquired by another) will continue to support us in 2015. Later in 2014 we were also joined by Viewpointe LLC.

Today we are honored to announce the new group of innovative companies that have joined the IGI. Joining us today are DTI, Duff & Phelps, EQD, Exterro, Huron Consulting Group, Kroll OnTrack, and Mindseye. We thank them all for their generous support.

Over the past year our dedicated staff has made great progress in furthering our mission. We published our 2014-2015 Annual Report, the first definitive look at the IG concept, market, and discipline. We talked to hundreds of IG practitioners across the globe. We held our very successful IG Boot Camp events. We spoke around the globe. We launched our online community. We broke bread with dozens of senior IG practitioners and heard about their concerns and successes. We built strong partnerships in big data, e-discovery and health information management. We created an incredible advisory board with representatives from the major facts of IG. We weighed in on important legislative developments. We published IG case studies and white papers. We had online hangouts and webinars. It was a busy year.

This year is going to be even busier, with even more of these activities planned. We will hold our first annual Chief Information Governance Officer Summit in Chicago May 20-21. We are holding Boot Camps and executive dinners across the country. We are launching our Task Force program where we will work with IG practitioners to create real, practical IG tools, starting with a model IG steering committee charter. We have other big announcements planned, so stay tuned.

This week will be a busy week for the IGI and our supporters. We are holding a NYC Boot Camp in partnership with Cardozo Law School. We are having our first anniversary cocktail reception. We are delivering a shorter version of our Boot Camp as part of the LTNY program, meeting with our Industry Committee, and speaking several times. We hope to see you there.