Fiona Beatty is Assistant Director Information Governance at Australian Financial Security Authority, where in 2019 she received an Australia Day award for Public Service.
Fiona started in the world of information governance while on a temporary placement in local government ten years ago. She now leads the development and implementation of agency-wide strategies and the promotion and maintenance of the AFSA Information Governance Framework.
Tell us about yourself?
I live in beautiful Brisbane with my husband, 2 dogs, cat and all the local birds! We love the leafy existence so close to the city and feel truly privileged to live here. I enjoy spending time in our garden and appreciate the bounty of the land (small as it is) with mangoes, bananas, star fruit, chocolate pudding fruit, pawpaw, guava and my fresh herbs.
I love to cook but find that I have less time to do it these days. I picked up a new favourite hobby during COVID – clothing re-purposing – where I take old garments and remodel them into new creations – mostly from my husbands’ wardrobe.
I am a mother to four grown men – and I survived! My boys are my truest joy and I hope that before too long I will gain daughters in law.
What led you into the world of Information Governance (IG)?
I have always had an organised view of the world and find myself happiest when all things are well-organised and efficient.
I stumbled into the world of information governance when I was on a temporary placement in local government and I started to read the administration guide for the system we were running. I began asking questions about why we weren’t utilising functionality that was OOTB and was blessed to be given an opportunity to show exactly how we could improve things. I went on to upgrade our systems and implement new platforms.
I haven’t looked back and can’t imagine being in another industry that would allow my natural abilities to shine as much as the information governance field has.
Tell us about your current role in IG?
My current role is a true IG position – at least I see it that way. I am responsible to advise direction and drive the change required to mature the existence of frameworks and practices to support the required understanding of information management and the associated business components to enable better outcomes for our staff and our clients.
My role has developed over time as I have been able to effectively communicate the broader information governance landscape to our executive.
What pressures are organisations facing to ensure IG best practices?
The main pressure I see is technology driving decisions rather than business needs.
Our responsibility as practitioners is to ensure we are passing relevant information on to the appropriate decision makers to allow IG to be a leading decision point and not an after-thought.
What are the biggest developments you have seen in the IG?
I have witnessed a broader understanding and acceptance of the relevance of IG as being an underpinning requirement for all business. The development of the CIGO (Chief Information Governance Officer) concept has allowed an authoritative seat at the table for information governance. I see the principle that if we get our information strategy right we will be able to build on that foundation to leverage better corporate outcomes building greater backing.
Driving strategy and leveraging appropriate technologies will see Information Governance mature and flourish.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in IG?
Ask questions – lots of them, never grow tired of looking at new things and don’t take it personally – when people don’t like the systems, processes, or frameworks you recommend. See it as a challenge to help them understand – because ultimately what we do really matters, they just don’t realise it yet!
With the rapidly evolving technologies and digital disruption, where do you see IG heading in the next few years?
The IG industry is on the verge of significant change. We have seen rapid change in the way that people live and work with technology and we need to move our mindset away from the way we’ve always done things and be open to new and efficient ways of working and supporting this important work.
The growth of information across the globe means there are not enough physical records managers to keep up with it. The added complexity of environments means we need new ways of managing the information lifecycle and I believe this must include machine learning. We need to be in front of this conversation to ensure that the appropriate governance and testing is done to support best practice outcomes for future Info Gov generations.
Why is it important to be a member of InfoGovANZ ?
InfoGovANZ has been doing a great job of bringing together experts (SME’s) to elevate the conversation surrounding change and requirements across industry.
The collegiate discussions and educational presentations are helping to mature views on the validity of IG, especially in our changing environment.