How to get buy-in (and budget) for information governance improvements
In today’s digital world, good information governance is the equivalent of basic hygiene. Supporting the implementation of best practices should be a no-brainer for corporate decision-makers.
The trouble is: the reality of many organisations’ data estates (sprawling across on-premises, cloud, archives, backups and legacy systems) makes best practice a little harder to achieve than a simple scrub-a-dub-dub. These complexities often make information governance projects seem overly conceptual. As a result, decision-makers lose sight of their very tangible business benefits.
So how do you turn the tables and get stakeholders excited about information governance? We suggest starting with these four – very practical – business benefits that good information governance brings.
1. Lower data storage costs
One inevitable side-effect of storing large amounts of digital data is being left with large amounts of digital ROT – random, obsolete and trivial data.
When not properly controlled, ROT can grow to cause significant system bloat – as much as 32% of organisations’ total data load, according to leading analysts. That can have a very real impact on the speed, productivity and management overheads of your organisation’s environment – not to mention it’s compliance risk (more on that later).
Perhaps more importantly from a budget perspective, however, it means your organisation could be paying as much as 32% more than necessary for data storage.
By implementing good information governance policies, however, it’s possible to not only address historic ROT, but also prevent future accumulation – and costly storage – of this useless and potentially harmful data.
2. Less risk
Speaking of potential harm, ROT can be particularly risky in terms of compliance, hiding data well past its required and/or lawful retention period. This can open organisations up to very real financial and reputational damage caused by security breaches, litigation and/or contravention of industry regulations.
Strategic retention management policies can dramatically reduce this risk by enabling organisations to identify and retain data for exactly the right amount of time and defensibly delete it as soon as it has passed its useful/legal lifespan.
3. A more manageable data estate
ROT isn’t the only way risk creeps into organisations’ data estates. Architectural complexity can also introduce security and compliance gaps.
By consolidating as much as possible of the data estate within Microsoft, however, it becomes much easier to access, manage, secure and utilise corporate data to its fullest. This can seriously improve the manageability of your environment, reducing IT administrative overheads while also minimising risk and spend on unnecessary third-party subscriptions.
4. Reduced eDiscovery costs
It’s a whole lot quicker and easier to collect data for eDiscovery when that data is clean, organised, and you know exactly where it lives.
Information governance tools like data maps enable in-house teams to quickly surface relevant data for eDiscovery, and even conduct their own internal investigations and/or early case assessment. This can be an extraordinary time and cost-saver, particularly in litigation-heavy industries.