Information governance – beyond the buzz

Date25 November 2013
Publication Date25 November 2013
AuthorJuerg Hagmann
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Information management & governance
Information governance
beyond the buzz
Juerg Hagmann
itopia ag, Zurich, Switzerland
Purpose – This paper aims to discuss the still immature concept of information governance (IG) from
a records and information management (RIM) perspective and attempts to identify some critical
aspects, essential elements and challenges, drawing on lessons learned from corporate experience in a
global setup.
Design/methodology/approach – After a critical consideration of the notion “informa tion
governance” the paper reports some issues which turned out to be major barriers to success during
IG implementation within a given organisation.
Findings – Practical experience highlights the importance of carefully scoping IG frameworks in
larger organisations; in particular, balancing the representation of all relevant stakeholders (especially
lines of business) and targeting investment in initiatives that foster an information management
culture. Equally critical to success is corporate communication which truly values information as a
corporate asset and highlights the importance of information lifecycle management rather than
technology under the motto “putting the ‘I’ into IT”.
Research limitations/implications This paper draws on experience from a single case study to
discuss some of the cultural factors that influence the design and implementation of IG in general.
However, more empirical research is needed in order to broaden the understanding of the impact of IG
programmes in real-world organisations.
Practical implications When implementing IG programmes in global organisations it should not
be limited to an IT perspective alone. The biggest challenge is the fact that no department or discipline
alone can achieve the desired results. Success is only possible in an orchestrated scenario with clear
value propositions for specific business functions.
Originality/value – Based on a small selection of professional literature on the IG approach, the
paper presents findings about issues and pitfalls when setting up and implementing an IG programme.
It is hoped that it will inspire more exploratory research of this kind from members of the records
management community to encourage them to raise the need for IG in their own organisations.
Keywords Corporate governance, Governance, Information management, Recordsmanagement,
Information governance, Programme management
Paper type Viewpoint
1. Introduction
The concept of information governance (IG) has rapidly gained popularity. Broadly,
practitioners in the field of enterprise information management (EIM) seem to embrace
the value of IG but only few are really doing anything about it. There is a gap between
IG aspirations and corresponding implementation in the real world[1]. IG is puzzling
and fascinating a broader audience than just the records and information management
(RIM) community. Today there is no AIIM (Association of Information and Image
Management) event, no eDiscovery seminar or no enterprise 2.0 conference that does
not espouse the mantra of IG.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Received 23 April 2013
Revised 27 August 2013
Accepted 16 September
Records Management Journal
Vol. 23 No. 3, 2013
pp. 228-240
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/RMJ-04-2013-0008

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