Information Governance and ECM: the Primer for Executives

December 20, 2022

There is no doubt that digital data permeates virtually every aspect of our lives today. IDC estimates that by 2025--merely 2 years from now--digital data worldwide will grow to 173 zettabytes. Businesses will attribute to roughly 80% of that much data. With every new invention and innovation in areas such as IoT, autonomous vehicles, business process automation, and intelligent business analytics, businesses will continue to produce, capture, and process tremendous amount of data.

As enterprises struggle to store this immense amount of data, they face significant challenges such as rapid data growth, data management complexity, and piecemeal data integration. According to a research from IBM, businesses report wasting about 40-60% of their data investment through inefficiency and poor data quality.

The confluence of aggregated data from social media, IoT, smart devices, and cloud-based services & apps adds a vexing challenge: a sprawling mess of personally identifiable information (PII). While this enables enterprises to better serve their customers, it also increases compliance and regulatory demands for better data governance practices.

With stringent privacy laws such as Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California's Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), it is crucial for organizations to have proper organizational and technical measures to protect privacy rights, have sufficient internal controls in place, and be able to demonstrate that they are complying with laws and industry regulations. With the ever-increasing amount of personal data being collected and processed, organizations need a scalable way to manage and protect their consumers' data privacy. At the same time, companies need fast access to accurate data to deliver a compelling user experience.

What is Information Governance?

Information governance (IG) policies establish standard processes and best practices pertaining to data capture, storage, access, and disposal. IG also involves proactive management of data inventory and security of sensitive and confidential information. This includes measures for data access by approved user roles, prevention of unauthorized disclosure or data access, and proactive data removal after specified periods to preserve business value.

A useful starting point for information governance is to start with a governance framework. The framework defines mission and vision statements for enterprise IG policies, the strategic goals for executing those policies, as well as the goals set forth by the relevant regulatory body. It also outlines principles for defining objectives and expectations, implementation responsibilities, and success measures. Organizations must define the framework for information governance and maintain it regularly to ensure compliance and avoid fines and penalties pertaining to non-compliance.

Importance of ECM in Information Governance

Implementing proper information governance policies calls for the right systems and technologies. An enterprise content management (ECM) solution can be a foundational bedrock for implementing information governance with its ability to manage unique sets of information, ensure compliance, and streamline operations.

ECM can be a single source of truth to store and manage all enterprise data, including unstructured data such as images and documents. Typically, an organization sees vast content and data scattered across fragmented data silos, repositories, and various enterprise software systems. Modern ECM solutions, however, do more than simply warehousing data and give collated & connected access to data, bringing both visibility and control.

This sounds amazing in theory, but in practice, organizations have an exponentially increasing headache of managing data across many fragmented data silos. Many enterprises are still using legacy ECM systems which are incapable of collating business content and data from multiple data repositories. Integrations between those legacy ECM systems and other enterprise software are patchwork at best, adding even more chaos to data management.

Fortunately, with the right technology, like Helix International's proprietary and purpose-built software, MARS, such problems can be avoided. By layering on top of existing ECM systems in use, MARS provides powerful federated search capabilities, allowing enterprises to search through all data sources they have for any filetypes and content. With 45+ connectors to data sources and the capability to view any filetypes in existence, MARS makes it easy to collate existing data, connect fragmented content scattered through silos with each other, and eliminate redundancy by automatically organizing contents with shared metadata.

Helix International is uniquely positioned to bring expertise, insights, and technologies to address the challenges of today's information deluge as enterprises look to navigate regulatory compliance requirements and tame the ever-increasing complexity of managing business data.

With over 30 years of industry-leading track record and having successfully managed 1,000 petabytes of data migration for Fortune 500 clients, Helix has the expertise and solutions needed to solve even the most complex information management challenges. Help your organization today by getting in touch with our experts.

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