What Is Driving IG at Organizations, Today?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you taken the 2016-2017 IGI Annual Survey? Help us develop our next Annual Report by sharing your insights! Take the Survey today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In our previous look inside last year’s IGI Annual Report 2015-2016, the industry’s most comprehensive research on information governance (IG) as a concept, profession, and market, we discussed the barriers to getting IG work done. Today, we look at the flip side and consider what is driving IG.

We put together a list of common drivers of IG and asked practitioners which were the main ones that get IG projects and programs moving at their organizations. Responses were ordered from the most to least common response. Here is what we found.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][imageeffect image=”5677″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we have seen elsewhere throughout the IGI research, a risk orientation currently predominates. Three of the top four drivers are focused on reducing or responding to risk. Routine, good business management practices was the fifth most commonly identified driver for practitioners. The good news is that over a third of practitioners said that this was a key driver for IG at their organizations.

In addition, about a fifth of practitioners identified an interest in extracting value from information as a driver. This latter result, in particular, suggests that the value-side of IG continues to gain traction—a trend we expect to accelerate as more organizations move on from IG foundation-building and position themselves through better data hygiene and management for value creation.

Many of the drivers of IG reflected in this list are events, incidents, or triggers. Something happens—a lawsuit, a restructuring, a change in leadership, or a technology transition—that spurs IG work to be done. Anticipated or not, these events often create the best opportunities for IG progress, as they reveal the price of information inattention, dramatically demonstrate the hard dollars being wasted, and free up budget that can be siphoned from related corporate initiatives.

A technology transition, for example, is a chance to inject IG into a business process without additional interruption to workflow. Even something like a lawsuit, and the need to respond to it, can be an opportunity. Indeed, some great IG programs appear to have been set into motion by just such events (See our 2015 Benchmarking Report for stories from the field about the impact of such events.).

However, an orientation of simply responding to incidents rather than planning for them is not ideal. If you are constantly in a reactive posture, responding to and putting out fires, you may be getting IG work done in one sense, but not the work you hoped to do or planned for. This issue is also taken up in our 2015 Benchmarking Report.

If you are having a hard time getting IG started, look to this list for ideas of what drives IG at other organizations. As we noted, some of the mentioned events can serve as opportunities to achieve meaningful IG progress. You should also look to this list as a cautionary tale. Some organizations are in a reactive posture, responding to incidents rather than preparing for them. If something unexpected happens, of course you need to respond appropriately. However, if, for example, you are in a litigious or heavily regulated industry, you do not need to wait until you are sued or an investigation is underway. You can build responses to such incidents into your routine IG practices. Sit in the driver’s seat of your IG program rather than letting it be driven by someone else.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The IGI has begun the process of developing the 2016-2017 IGI Annual Report, building upon the success of the last two years. As part of the research for our Report, we are conducting a survey of information governance professionals. Please participate in our survey to help us create a great resource for the IG Community. The results will be published in a comprehensive Annual Report which will include a variety of infographics and other tools we will freely provide to the IG Community under a Creative Commons license. These infographics have become part of many IG practitioners’ internal presentations, and the Annual Report has become the go-to reference guide for many in the industry. In the meantime, take a look insider last year’s report. All data you provide through this survey will be reported anonymously.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Take the IGI Annual Survey” color=”primary” align=”center” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.surveygizmo.com%2Fs3%2F3026104%2F836cee03e471||target:%20_blank”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]