Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and metrics that treat information as a valuable business asset. In many organisations, responsibilities for data governance tasks are split among security, storage and database teams.
Although we typically refer to information governance in a digital context, it also incorporates physical assets, such as devices and printed documents. This is especially true in the case of more mature and larger organisations, which often have large amounts of information stored locally, in printed or digital form.
At its core, information governance refers to a strategic framework for managing information at an organisational level and which defines acceptable behavior in the creation, valuation, use, sharing, storage, archiving, and deletion of information. It encompasses the policies, standards, processes, metrics, and roles guiding the efficient and effective use of information for an organisation to realise its objectives.
There are many regional and international standards for managing information at scale, and the regulatory compliance landscape is evolving every year. However, the core concepts of information governance have largely remained the same. These include security and privacy, integrity and authenticity, information lifecycle management, and business continuity. But information governance is more than just a legal and ethical obligation. Establishing a robust and adaptable framework can help organisations derive greater value out of their information and drive smarter, more informed decision-making.
Information governance recognises information as a strategic asset that must be subjected to high-level coordination and oversight. This ensures accountability, integrity, preservation, and protection of information enterprise-wide, and as a discipline aims to treat the task holistically by removing silos and fragmentation, improving ROI on the technology and resources needed to manage information.