Digital Transformation- The Role of Information Governance
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivers value to its customers. It is also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
The success or failure of digital transformation fundamentally rests upon radically redefined experiences with customers, employees, and partners. It is about using information in brand new ways
Traditional information management methods are struggling to keep up with the constant stream of data coming into organisations. The response is a convergence of traditional structured data business solutions and unstructured information management solutions.
With at least 80% of the average organisation’s information being managed as unstructured information, this area has become critically important for a successful digital workplace.
Innovation and collaboration are vital to improved business performance, and the management of information needs to empower the right people at the right time to execute their business processes.
The term “digital workplace” has evolved to describe the collection of IT assets that enhances 21st-century business processes. The visible parts of the digital workplace are technologies and ways of working that allow people to connect, collaborate, communicate, and cooperate without necessarily being face-to-face.
Information is only useful to employees, if it is easily accessible when they need it, is available in the context of their business process and they are able to understand it and trust its validity.
A digital workplace calls for a unified, enterprise-wide approach to information management. It employs a consistent hierarchy and breaks down silos to enable people to share information across the organization, regardless where the information originates.
Information Governance is an enterprise-wide, strategic approach to managing the ever-increasing volumes of information in support of its business outcomes. It involves having frameworks, policies, processes, standards, roles and controls in place to meet regulatory, legal, risk and operational requirements. Information governance is an essential element of corporate governance that must be aligned with business outcomes and risks.
Many leading business organization are adopting Information Governance to better manage and understand their information assets.
- Information Governance is a strategic, top-down approach to managing all aspects of information within the organisation, in line with the strategic objectives of that organisation.
- Information Governance provides the framework, systems and processes for ensuring the value of information is maximised and risks are minimised.
- Information Governance looks at all information, regardless of its format. This includes structured information such as databases and unstructured information such as documents, emails and rapidly growing social media.
- Information Governance has both internal and external stakeholders, including internal users of data, risk and compliance teams, executive and board members, and legal and regulatory bodies.
- Information Governance is a subset of corporate governance – it is a strategic rather than tactical discipline, which aligns information management with business strategy and processes.
An Information Governance Framework looks at the way the organisation works with information to deliver business outcomes, incorporating:
- The information that is required to complete the business processes to provide each outcome,
- How this information is used by the people who do the work to complete the processes, and
- The technology to manage the information and enable the people to do the work.
An Information Governance Framework will ensure meaningful, timely, and reliable information in the context of the business process, with the associated retention/disposition schedules. For information to be truly accessible, it must be available where people work with intuitive usability. Information governance directly impacts the usefulness, and therefore the value, of information. It also facilitates regulatory compliance and enhances security.
For most businesses the goals of Information Governance are to:
- Treat information as a business asset
- Use information to support business goals and objectives
- Increase the business value of information
- Reduce operational, legal and regulatory risk
- Ensure information is managed in a compliant manner
Good information governance depends upon establishing reasonable policies, and on users maintaining compliance with those policies. Compliance rests in the hands of those creating and storing information and increases significantly when the solution is designed with ease of use in mind.
The value an organisation can extract from information is determined by how well they are able to leverage that information. One of the key benefits of the digital workplace model is found in increasing the value of business information.
A successful digital workplace will have a solid information governance framework in place.
A digital workplace allows for greater collaboration and has the potential to create a virtual counterpart to the bricks and mortar office that reinforces corporate identity, and by protecting and maximising the value of an organisation’s information assets, improves performance and reduces risk.