To say that information governance is critical in the fast-paced digital era that we’re currently living in is probably a little bit of an understatement.
Every day, businesses are creating countless volumes of data that contain the insight necessary to guarantee success for the next five, ten or even twenty years of that organization’s existence. The problem is that if you can’t dive beneath the data and uncover the true narrative playing out, the data itself is effectively worthless. Without the right information governance plan, you’re really just talking about little more than a series of 1s and 0s sitting on a hard drive somewhere.
This is all especially important during an era when more people are working remotely than ever, thanks in large part to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that continues to drag on. Employees are using mobile and cloud technology to stay productive while on-the-go, creating even more challenges in terms of managing information in a way that allows it to remain productive and useful.
However, even organizations that understand the importance of information governance often run into issues — as this exceptional AIIM article goes a long way towards illustrating. It outlines not one but three pressure points that usually cause information governance policies to fail, and we thought we’d take the opportunity to both recap and present our own unique solution for each one.
Weak Spot #1: Information Entry Points
One of the biggest areas where information governance tends to break down is also, for most organizations, among the most immediate: the point at which that information enters your system to begin with.
These days, even small enterprises have more information coming into their environments than ever. But a lot of organizations have thus far been slow to adapt their governance strategies, particularly to take advantage of the fast-paced cloud and mobile-driven worlds that we’re currently living in.
For example, did you know that only about 40% of businesses have automated processes to guarantee the deletion of personal information? Likewise, did you know that 85% of people see that a failure to digitize, standardize and automate business inputs is one of the key bottlenecks that appears during a digital transformation?
This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important to have an information management platform like M-Files. Whether you’re talking about capturing information with scanners or the native input of files and information using other tools, within M-Files, the entry point is automatically equipped with artificial intelligence-enabled metadata. This helps guide the information through its lifecycle, making it more searchable (and ultimately useable) at the same time. So regardless of being forced to focus so much on WHERE the information is, you can instead devote your attention to WHAT it is — which is exactly the way things should be.
Weak Spot #2: Information End Points
Another one of the major pressure points for information governance comes down to information endpoints — a topic that is far more complicated than most people assume.
Endpoints can be practically anything — from personal workstations to smartphones to Internet of Things devices and beyond. If you’re unable to access data on those endpoints, you’ll have a far harder time leveraging and growing historical data intelligence, validating past categorizations and much, much more. You’ll also likely be dealing with a lot of duplicate data, which can make it even more difficult to find exactly what it is that you’re looking for when you need it the most.
Weak Spot #3: Policy Administration
Finally, we arrive at policy administration: something that a lot of organizations are still trying to do manually, to mixed results.
If you’re still trying to do everything “the old-fashioned way,” even keeping your information governance policy up to date can be an uphill battle. Never forget that every minute you’re spending trying to get this right is a minute that you’re not focused on those matters that really need you. Plus, depending on the size of your enterprise, trying to demonstrate compliance may not just be difficult… It might be literally impossible.
If this describes your own situation, don’t worry — you’re not alone. That AIIM article referenced above indicated that for about 70% of organizations, key governance processes are less than 50% automated across the board. Even today, a lot of businesses still find embracing automation something to be far easier said than done.
That is, unless you leverage the right information lifecycle management tool like M-Files to do all of this for you. As stated, M-Files is built to guide information through its lifecycle with workflows as efficiently as possible. Those workflows notify all key stakeholders when a document has reached the end of its useful life, thus allowing them to quickly do something about it.
Plus, M-Files will automatically save documents that need to be kept due to regulatory compliance and much, much more. All of this makes sure not only that your information governance policy is executed and managed in just the right way — it frees up as much of your valuable time as possible so that you can focus on those tasks that actually generate revenue for your business.