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CIGO Task Force Report

Join Us for the Launch of the Chief Information Governance Officer Task Force Report

Introducing the CIGO–A New Information Leader for a New Era

We are very pleased to announce that the first best practice document created by the IGI Community is finished and will be published on December 7 during an online launch event. During the event we will host a discussion with CIGO Task Force members about the most important insights about the Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO)  from their publication.

When:  December 7, 2015 at 1:00 PM ET
Where: Online – register here.
Who: An IGI online event moderated by Barclay T. Blair and featuring Task Force members Aaron Crews, Senior Associate General Counsel and Head of eDiscovery at Walmart; Julie J. Colgan, Head of Information Governance Solutions at Nuix (IGI Charter Supporter and CIGO Task Force sponsor); and Ann Snyder, IGI Senior Fellow.

Please join us to participate in the discussion. Ask the Task Force members your big questions about the new role and its purpose, focus, and future. We will explore the full range of issues related to the emerging CIGO role, including:

  • The purpose of the CIGO.
  • Why the CIGO is necessary.
  • How the CIGO interacts with other existing information-related executives.
  • The CIGO’s responsibilities at different levels of organizational maturity.
  • Characteristics and qualifications needed for the CIGO role.

Register today to join the conversation and help us give birth to the Chief Information Governance Officer role.



As the adoption of IG continues to grow opinions about IG are also evolving quickly. Where does IG stands today? Is it in a better state than it was a year ago? Who owns it? And if it is such a big deal, what are organizations doing about it?

The IGI is joining a webinar hosted by Charter Supporter Nuix next week to discuss these questions and more. Join us to dive into the IG details.

Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Time: 12pm ET / 9am PT / 5pm BST
Duration: 45 mins + Q&A


In the meantime, check out the conversation we had about IG and its future with a panel of experts at LegalTech NY 2015 in February. It is a great preview of the discussion we’ll have on the June 2 webinar.

During this LTNY 2015 session, Julie Colgan, Chair of the Board of Directors for ARMA International, as well as the Head of Information Governance Solutions for Nuix, moderated, and our own Barclay T. Blair was joined by: Chris Dale of the eDisclosure Information Project; Jason C. Stearns, Director of Legal and Compliance Information Governance at BlackRock; and Alison North, also on the board for ARMA International. Below is an edited excerpt of that conversation.

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Julie: Is information governance going to stick? Is it real, and moving into the future?

Infographic- Industry Experts Optimistic About Future of IGAlison: I think the question is, is this an actual thing or passing fad? I’ll admit that maybe I have been on the fence about this—but actually, IG's been around for a long time. It wasn’t necessarily called "IG" for all this time, and it wasn’t precisely what it is today, but I can track it back to the turn of this century.

It’s developed via things like e-Discovery, privacy, security, records management challenges, and so on. It's not, "will IG still be a challenge in five years?" It's "what will it look like?" And actually, if we agree that information governance is part of corporate governance, and if we extend the corporate governance principles of accountability and transparency to encompass information, we might actually find the right home for information governance.

Barclay: Well, let’s look at how the Sony debacle very quickly went from a conversation about "how do we secure this stuff?" to "should we have this stuff at all?" Their General Counsel had 4,096 emails in her deleted folder suddenly exposed to the world. It’s fair to say her interest in information governance has changed quickly in the last couple of months.

So what's interesting is that there is an incredible vacuum in corporate governance around the problem and the opportunities of information. Who is the owner of the information? That's an unanswered question that is going to be answered, for sure, by 2020.

Julie: Well, I think this leads well into the next question. Will there ever be a role substantively functioning as a Chief Information Governance Officer?

Jason: I know of at least one law firm that has established a similar position. Ultimately, I think it also depends on how we define that role.

Alison: The thing is, I hesitate with titles. We have enough chief officers on the board of directors. It's not about the fact that we want to introduce another one; it's more about whether our information is used properly, whether we've got the right strategy, whether it's innovative management for the information, and if you use it effectively and profitably. It's not that there won't be somebody responsible for information. Creating titles is not going to get the job done, and that's the challenge I have with it. I don't think that it's wrong to have somebody who has a holistic look at information at a very, very high level. I just don't need the titles.

Barclay: But organizations are much more political that that. If you want to be successful and you actually want to accomplish something around information, you need to learn how to operate. Our CIGO Summit, for example, isn’t a conference about information governance—it’s about corporate leadership. These professionals need to understand how to maneuver their organizations. Who's going to benefit by the existence of a CIGO? Who's not going to like it? Who's going to be your friend? These questions need to be answered. On some level, the names of things are important. They're incredibly important when it comes to selling these programs internally. Ten years ago, we didn't have a chief privacy officer. Were we dealing with privacy? Of course.

Alison: I totally understand and agree that you need someone who's looking at this holistically. It's more about creating these positions when we don't know what they do. So tell me exactly what you think a chief information governance officer does?

Barclay: Sure. We're creating the CIGO Playbook, and each of its eight chapters lays out specific dimensions of the CIGO's role. Attendees at our CIGO Summit can take that and go do that job. It's guidance on what kind of authority they have, and how they exercise it. What are their reporting relationships? Where do they sit in the organization? How much should they get paid? What are comparative C-level jobs? What kind of backgrounds should they have? What kind of personality do you require to play that role? It's going to be highly collaborative. You're going to have to work with people.

So yes, absolutely, I'm not throwing a title out there and saying, "Yay! We solved the problem." Far from it. We're saying, "Look, this is the beginning of a journey." Frankly, it’s also a career path for folks who are interested in this field—and that’s valuable.

Jason: See now, I actually think they're both right. To Alison's point, I think far more important than a title is the fact that there is someone who is doing this within the organization. If I’m the right person for the job, I will take on that task and I will do it to the best of my ability to be effective in the role.

That being said, the fact of the matter is, Barclay is right: politics within an organization absolutely do matter. I mean, who would get more responses to a legal hold: the Chief Legal Officer or a paralegal? So titles matter, I don't dispute that. This is why they’re both right—the CIGO title matters, but the substance behind the title matters more.

Chris: Alison is very strong on this idea that we should look more at the substance of what's it about, rather than what it's called, and one can't disagree with that. I don't disagree either with Barclay. I'm keen on this career's progression idea. There is the idea that we need to entice a whole load of people into this industry in a broader sense, and that if titles help people to be respected, then that title matters. We do need to have some sort of label. It's much more important though, as Barclay was emphasizing, to ask, 'What's the job description?" Because that's what really counts.

Barclay: Obviously, having an empty suit sitting in a chair doesn't help anybody, right? So that’s why we are working on a job description for a CIGO. Do I think that's going to solve the problem completely and everyone's going to adopt it? No, of course not. We're trying to push the market forward. It's clear that there's a vacuum at the executive layer around who owns information, and we're trying to do our part to highlight that. We're also having lots of other conversations about information governance, and this is just one of them, and we'll see what happens.

Julie: So I think we can all agree that something is needed, but it's early, right? So when will that something take hold? When will we see people in these roles in serious numbers?

Barclay: If you look at IAPP, the group that effectively created the chief privacy officer role, they started as a little group of people that said there should be this role. And I think if we go from the time they started to the time that we are in now—when it might be considered unconscionable, if you are a holder of consumer private information of a certain size, not have to a chief privacy officer—that's probably about seven years. It probably took three to five years before it became sort of mainstream. At some point, someone in every industry will have one, and the rest will think "Oh, we should probably do that, too." And then it starts to happen really quickly.

Jason: But see, I think we're seeing them already. I may not have the title of Chief Information Governance Officer, but in my roles and responsibilities for my firm, it's essentially what I'm doing. No, the CIOs do not report to me. No, the chief information security officer doesn't report to me. But we are absolutely peers, and we are absolutely working together. I know, like I said, of other firms that have people acting with the title. I know of records managers who are very much acting in this manner, maybe not by title, but certainly as being that person who's bringing people together to start thinking about these problems and these issues in one cohesive manner.

End of transcript

To learn more about how professionals like Jason are already tackling information governance in their own organizations, register for next Tuesday’s webinar today. We can’t wait to talk more.

Nuix LegalTech Party


Information governance took center stage last month at the New York City LegalTech conference, on panels sponsored by Charter Supporter Nuix, and IGI Partner, ARMA International.

In the breakout session “Information Governance in the Now,” panelists explored where IG stands today as a concept, as a practice and as a market.

This panel was moderated by Julie Colgan, Head of Information Governance Solutions at Nuix. Panelists included IGI’s General Counsel Jay Brudz, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

The panelists discussed the fact that information governance is moving from theory to practice. But what exactly does it mean when people say they’re doing information governance? Is information just a new name for records management, or is it something else?

Those may be hard questions to answers. But it’s Brudz’ opinion that while most mature organizations are good at managing records, the people in charge of that task don’t typically interact with the business people to ensure they have the information necessary to make the best decisions for their companies.

The solution to the problem is to create the position of the chief information governance officer (CIGO) – a C-level executive who can bridge that gap between the governance side of the organization and the business side to help business get done what it wants to get done, Brudz said.

“It’s not just about risk, it’s also about opportunity and where you can build that bridge,” he said. “For a more mature organization, CIGO is that bridge. Someone has to be in charge of the governance of information and we need accountability and properly empowered leadership to get this done.”

Colgan agreed that what’s needed is for disparate stakeholders to come together to ensure that big data initiatives have the foundation upon which to be successful.

“If we are doing data mining to uncover insights about our customers or markets we need to have reliance that the information has integrity and it’s good to make decisions on and that trends we are uncovering are real and reliable to make decisions on,” she said.

Brudz also said that cybersecurity – particuarly in response recent data security breaches – as well as big data projects are going to drive executives to think about adding funding for IG projects into their budgets.

Information governance, therefore, should incorporate all the tools needed to better manage information. Implementing an IG strategy will help unlock the value of data and improve decision making.

In the “Information Governance 2020 and Beyond” session, also moderated by Colgan, a panel of IG visionaries, including Barclay Blair, IGI’s Founder and Executive Director, looked into their crystal balls to deliver predictions about the future of IG.

“Good information governance practice requires knowing where important data is stored, understanding what it is worth and making sure it is protected,” according to ARMA. “Over the next decade, technological and economic changes will challenge businesses; new data consumers, types, sources and endpoints will require businesses to continually adapt their information governance and security policies or risk losing data integrity.”

However, there is an incredible vacuum at the corporate governance layer around the problem and the opportunities of information, Blair said.

“The CIO title is a lie,” he said. “CIOs do not own information, they own infrastructure. So who is the owner of the information? That is the unanswered question that is going to be answered for sure by 2020. Will that person be a chief information governance officer as we have posited?”

Listen to the Sessions

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For his part, Blair said he doesn’t care what it’s called but there must be a coordinating function to bring together all of the silos in an organization that are trying to solve the same problems: What is the value associated with the information and what are the risks?

“There’s no clearing house for those things to be rationalized in a logical way and that’s what’s needed and that need isn’t going to go away,” he said. “And it’s going to get funded – money is coming from information security into information governance.”

Panelists agreed that information governance is here to stay because the information silos are converging and now people in all departments are sitting together at the table, working in a more coordinated effort.

“Whether we call it information governance or not, I really don’t care,” said Jason Stearns, corporate vice president in the business resilience department and corporate records manager at New York Life Insurance Company. “Are we working in a coordinated effort for the same end result. That’s what I care about.”

Some panelists weren’t sure whether the person heading up this function needed a special title, such as chief information governance officer, as long as that individual was getting the job done. Others, however, said in terms of wading through the politics of an organization and selling IG programs internally, title matters – but the substance behind the title matters more.

“We need to entice people into the industry and if a title help people to be respected, then we need to have some sort of label, but we need to ask what the job description is,” Stearns.

Blair said the IGI is working on a job description for a CIGO – not to solve world hunger – but to push market forward to highlight the fact that there is a clear vacuum at the executive layer around who owns the information.

“Definitions are important because big companies won’t invest money in something unless Gartner says it’s a thing,” Blair said. “Vendors won’t put money into developing technology to solve a problem unless they think it’s a thing.”

For IG to become a mainstream discipline in organizations, it has to coalesce around a common understanding, so definitions matter, Blair added.

“We have to be speaking the same language to have this conversation,” he said.

As to the question of whether there is an IG market, Blair said, “our research indicates that people are buying and selling stuff that they think of as IG. If that’s not a market, I don’t know what it is.”

By 2020, a successful adoption of IG would mean it would be embedded into the way we do business rather than as a separate discipline and market, according to Blair.

What does your information cost?


It might be the shortest month of the year, but February sure has a lot to offer: Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, and Global Information Governance Day.

Global Information Governance Day, or GIGD is a day-long international event that occurs on the third Thursday in February. The purpose of GIGD is to raise the awareness of information governance. The celebration is coordinated and promoted by information governance experts, and was created by information governance (IG) thought leaders including Barclay T. Blair, founder and executive director of the IGI.

To celebrate the third annual GIGD, IGI is holding a Google Hangout titled "What Does Your Information Really Cost? (And Why You Need to Know Now)" with IGI Charter Supporter Nuix, on Thursday, February 19, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST.

The Hangout features Barclay; Brian Tuemmler, Information Governance Program Architect at Nuix; and Ajay Asthana of Pretiurm Analytics discussing key highlights from the IGI's latest white paper also titled "What Does Your Information Really Cost? (And Why You Need to Know Now). You can register for the event here.

So exactly why should we be celebrating Global Information Governance Day and why is this hangout important?

Well, consider this: information can be a force for positive change in the world—improving business, government, and the lives of people in all walks of life. But these benefits aren’t automatic. The fact is we all have to work together to understand and manage information in a better way to reap any of these benefits.

Information is the commodity of our era—and typically, the more we have of a “good thing,” the better. Just think of the massive amounts volume of information being generated by organizations—information that helps businesses expand and grow.

The amount of data worldwide is exploding, and using analytics to mine this big data to gain meaningful business insights is the key to competition, productivity, growth and innovation. The promise of extracting profound insights from these large data sets is very real—and the potential is thrilling.

Now, consider the cost and the risk of mismanaging this information and you’ll begin to realize that having a good information governance strategy is critical to a company’s success. Alternatively, the lack of such a strategy will most assuredly spell the demise of the business.

Hidden in your repositories of information is likely a mixture of junk (outdated, duplicate, or information of no business value), risky documents (information whose content or even misplacement creates hazards), and documents of true business value. And, every day, your organization creates more of each kind.

The problem is that this unstructured data is growing faster than your organization—and most organizations—can handle it. And that means you can’t get any real value from it. To better manage and monetize your information so you can make the best decisions for your business, you have to know how much your information is really costing you.

The hangout is aimed at helping you think about the true costs of owning all this unstructured information so you can make better business decisions.

During the Hangout, we will:

  • Consider the unique challenges of unstructured data and its growth.
  • Analyze the factors that drive the cost of ownership of unstructured information and what can increase or decrease those costs.
  • Discuss how you can get started with your organization’s information by first gathering information and then mapping out a strategy to address it.

You can register for the Hangout: “What Does Your Information Really Cost? (And Why You Need to Know Now),” here.

Download our latest white paper here.



Information is the commodity of our era. Often, as is the case with many commodities, there is a tendency to think that having more of a “good thing” is better. In part, this view of information is being driven by the promise of big data and the potential for new analytical tools to extract profound insights from our “data mines” already chock-full of information. While the promise is very real and the potential is thrilling, there is another side to information—the side of complexity and risk. Both sides of the information equation must be addressed. Hidden in your repositories of information is likely a mixture of junk (outdated, duplicate, or information of no business value), risky documents (information whose content or even misplacement creates hazards), and documents of true business value.

Unstructured information, in particular, poses additional challenges. The volume of unstructured information, for example, is growing faster than most organizations’ abilities to handle it, making it hard for these same organizations to generate any real value from it. Further, in order to manage and monetize our information better—and importantly, to make the business case for any information-related decisions—we need to know what our information is really costing us. Our paper, What Does Your Information Really Cost? (And Why You Need to Know Now), is designed to help organizations think about the true costs of owning their unstructured information so that they can make better decisions about it. The publication, supported by IGI Charter Supporter, Nuix, is part of our ongoing series of publications exploring issues, strategies, and techniques for information governance. Log in through our community site to download your copy.

This Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 1:00 PM EST the IGI and Nuix will hold a virtual hangout as part of Global Information Governance Day, on this topic. During the hangout, the second event in the IGI Virtual Events series, we will:

  • Consider the unique challenges of unstructured data and its growth.
  • Analyze the factors that drive the cost of ownership of unstructured information and what can increase or decrease those costs.
  • Discuss how you can get started with your organization’s information by first gathering information and then mapping out a strategy to address it.

Save the date, and register for the event.



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.