LOOKING BACK AT THE CIGO SUMMIT–LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW BREED OF INFORMATION LEADER

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][styledbox type=”general_shaded” icon_color=”#eaeaea” height=”25″ icon=”“][vc_column_inner width=”1/1”][vc_column_text] Note from the IGI: Weren’t able to join us for the 1st Annual CIGO Summit? In this guest post, Laurence Hart, owner and lead analyst at Word of Pie, provides a look back at the CIGO Summit and our discussions and a look forward to the new breed of information leaders.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/styledbox][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Just before Memorial Day here in the U.S., I had the pleasure of attending the CIGO Summit in Chicago. The IGI invited me as an information governance (IG) expert even though I am not a practicing CIGO or information governance lead. This gave me a chance to interact with leaders in the industry who don’t just implement information governance, they own it for their organization. While there were several topics that grabbed my interest, the most valuable part was the interactive nature of the event. When you attend these types of event, you always want them to be interactive. You hope enough people attend who will voice their opinions and entice others to speak. That was not a problem at the CIGO Summit. There was enough passion and opinions in the room for a healthy dialog starting 15 minutes into the event and continuing for the rest of the day. The goal of the summit was to build-out the CIGO Playbook. The work was centered on defining what makes a CIGO and why they are needed. This was more than a job description. The skills, approaches, and pitfalls to the position were brought out and examined.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Evolution of the CIO

One of the most important sessions was examining the history of the “C” suite with a focus on the CIO. When 2015 CIGO Summit Sponsorsyou look at it objectively, information governance is a critical aspect of managing information. Yet it does not get done properly in most organizations and is often not owned by the CIO. Somewhere along the line the CIO became more of an IT role and less of an IG role. The group talked about how to avoid the same, or worse, fate for the CIGO. Part of the discussion centered on not trying to own all of the technology that information governance impacts. That is a path straight towards managing technology. It is also one that a CIGO should rely upon a CIO or CTO to perform, working together to meet the needs.

Follow the Money

The other point that kept coming up was money. Decisions are made because of the impact to the bottom line. It is not enough for information governance to just mitigate risks. Direct impact by IG to the operational bottom line needs to be identified. This includes both on the cost-savings and contribution to revenue. Revenue was an interesting topic as there was some discussion on the value of information. Everyone agrees that information is an asset but nobody was able to place a dollar value on a piece of information. In the era of big data and the resulting data analysis, the value of the collection of customer records is acknowledged but the specific value of an individual record is still elusive.

Outside Experts

To help navigate these discussions, the IGI brought in experts from outside the information governance industry. Most participants had evolved into the role of leading their information governance efforts. The people brought in were lateral to the world of a CIGO and had no preconceptions about the need for a CIGO. They helped put the role of the CIGO into better perspective. Some of the key perspectives they shared are:

  • If you are going to be a CIGO, you need to be a leader. Being a “Chief” should mean something.
  • As a corporate officer, you to be responsible for information and have some sort of fiduciary responsibility. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the desired authority.
  • Need to be able to readily communicate not only what information governance is but why it matters to every person in the organization.

It all came back down to money. If a CIGO is going to have the authority, and compensation, that comes with a “C” title, they need to point to the value that they bring to an organization from both a leadership and financial perspective.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

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What’s Next?

The end of the day focused on how to execute as a CIGO. This is the key element that will need the most work down the road to enhance. If the CIGO role takes root, the people put into that role are going to be trailblazers.

The new CIGOs are going to need to be able to lean on peers to learn what works and what doesn’t. I am already looking forward to that aspect at next year’s CIGO Summit. We may still be refining what the job entails but the work into making it a position that creates positive impact for organizations is going to be key. Insuring sure that each part of the title, “Chief”, “Information Governance,” and “Officer” is real will be something that will need refinement. Information governance practitioners can focus on how to make projects work. That is still very much in demand. CIGOs need to find a way to make IG central to how business is done, allowing projects to get approved. The ultimate goal is to make the governance of information as ingrained and important to how organizations operate as the governance of money is today.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

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