2015-2016 IGI Annual Report Barriers to Information Governance

Education, Not Money, Is the Biggest Barrier to Information Governance

Whether your organization is just getting started with IG or you are trying to move an existing program forward, you will no doubt encounter some obstacles along the way. Though we often hear about costs as a major barrier to getting IG work done, our research shows that it is not all about the money for many organizations, today.

As part of our research, we put together a list of eight common barriers to IG and asked practitioners to select the ones that plague them the most. These were placed in order of the most frequent response to least. As the graphic below shows, a majority of practitioners selected five of eight barriers, suggesting that most of them are fighting numerous battles at the same time.

2015 IGI Annual Report Barriers to IG
The most common barrier selected by a large majority of practitioners was a lack of understanding/awareness of the value of IG. “Siloing” or lack of communication/collaboration across various functional areas addressing information was selected as the second most common barrier.

Although 50% of practitioners identified insufficient funding as a primary barrier, it came in at number five. Similarly, IG as a cost center, also appeared lower on the list than one might expect at sixth.

The good news is that each of the top four barriers to IG identified by our community can be significantly improved simply by educating stakeholders and getting them to think more clearly about the problem—an activity that doesn’t cost big money. That means IG practitioners can make significant progress without significant budgets.

Closing this knowledge gap is exactly what the IGI aims to achieve through our research, publishing, and advocacy work.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all IG problems can be resolved through education alone. As your IG program advances, you have to spend money to purchase technology and services, hire, and fill leadership gaps. For instance, while education will certainly help with the second most commonly identified barrier (lack of communication across functional areas), for many organizations establishing formal leadership by way of an IG steering committee and Chief Information Governance Officer (CIGO) will be necessary—but it won’t be a trivial undertaking.

If you’re encountering barriers to moving your IG program forward, you are not alone. Take heart knowing that you can make significant strides through education, especially if your organization is just getting started. Look to this list of obstacles that other organizations have encountered so that you can be prepared for what you might face and start building a plan to address them. Know that these obstacles are not insurmountable. Learn from others how they overcame these barriers to build successful IG programs.

To learn more, download your copy of the IGI Annual Report 2015-2016, today.