Information Governance

Why Is Information Governance Important for Your Business?

The information your business handles takes many forms and carries varying importance and value. The digital age has ...

The information your business handles takes many forms and carries varying importance and value. The digital age has ushered in exponential growth of how much information flows through an organization. How do you manage all this data?

If your company is transitioning to cloud services such as Office 365 or a customer relationship management platform, developing a formal governance strategy for managing information flow is essential. Why is information governance important? We review what information governance is and why you need it.


Table of Contents

What Is Information Governance?

Information governance is a formal approach to information management within your organization. It establishes a framework for decision-making, acceptable behaviors, and accountability, defining:

  • Roles within your organization
  • Policies for information management
  • Procedures for appropriate information creation, access, sharing, storage, retrieval, and deletion
  • Standards for information management and valuation
  • Metrics for measuring strategy performance

An effective framework considers physical and digital assets. For example, when migrating to Office 365, you need to incorporate email information security measures as well as security for devices your staff uses to access their emails.

IG provides a structure for oversight and eliminates organizational siloes that can introduce inefficiencies and risks. Proper information governance recognizes that information has value for your business but can also pose risks.

Why Is Information Governance Important?

Information governance helps you protect your business’s information assets while improving access for authorized users and increasing efficiency throughout the company. IG provides several significant benefits for your organization.

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Regulatory Compliance

Increasingly, governmental regulations implement legal requirements for managing sensitive data and information, such as personal health and financial information. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation imposes privacy and security requirements for any business that gathers information about EU citizens. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act establishes standards for protecting patient health information and data in the healthcare industry. These laws include information management, access, and accountability standards.

We’ve written more about compliance, take a look here.

Additionally, though other standards such as the ISO/IEC 27001 for information management systems are not legal requirements, customers often expect compliance. These standards also require businesses to implement an information governance framework. When business leaders ask, “Why is information governance important?” one of the most important reasons is to comply with regulations or information privacy and security standards.

Risk Management

Even with governmental regulations and information security standards, the information your company handles is vulnerable to unauthorized access, resulting in exposure and theft. Staying ahead of cybercriminals is an ongoing struggle for any company. However, enterprise businesses may be more at risk due to the sheer volume of information and the number of employees and customers.

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Cybercriminals most often gain access to company information through employees misusing their credentials. Cyberattacks and data breaches can impose a heavy financial toll from fines, lawsuits, business interruptions, and response and recovery tasks. It can also lead to mistrust and a loss of customers. Information governance provides a framework for securing your systems, training employees, and responding to breaches and attacks.

Better Decision-Making

Why is information governance important in the decision-making process? For starters, it removes information siloes and encourages cross-organizational collaboration. It also streamlines processes so everyone is on the same page about handling your business’s information.

Information governance establishes a valuation framework, providing a structure for assigning value to different types of information. Furthermore, it helps you organize large volumes of data. These factors improve the decision-making process, making it more effective and efficient.

Additionally, IG implements measures for measuring whether your policies and procedures effectively maintain information security while improving authorized access and the customer experience and meeting business goals. These metrics provide crucial data for assessing information values, paving the way for data-driven business decisions.

Data Quality and Consistency

Data quality refers to your data’s accuracy, integrity, recoverability, and timeliness. At the same time, consistency is the degree to which your business’s data adheres to quality expectations and its availability to authorized users. Why is information governance important in regards to data quality? Maintaining data quality and consistency is challenging, especially when duplicate assets exist across an organization.

If one department changes or updates information, that creates a new version of the data. However, if those changes aren’t made on duplicate assets, the data becomes inaccurate in some places, reducing its integrity. Furthermore, anyone seeking the information must determine the most accurate and updated version. Similarly, if your company stores data and information indefinitely, stakeholders may have difficulty locating what they need when they need it.

Information governance provides standards for data quality, including defining processes for sharing, altering, evaluating, and updating information.

Efficiency Improvement

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Why is information governance important to your business’s operational efficiency? You introduce inefficiencies when you approach information management, access, and security using siloed and unorganized strategies. Information overload leads to wasted time and money, as staff must sift through volumes to find what they need and determine whether it is the most updated version. Furthermore, if they can’t quickly locate it, they may recreate the information, thus adding another version to the system.

Duplicate information also takes up space on servers. If you don’t have a system for archiving or deleting outdated and useless information, it uses up even more storage. IG streamlines your processes, improving efficiency for employers and potentially increasing server performance, especially in terms of space usage.

Competitive Advantage

A Forbes survey found that 96% of respondents said they would switch to another business because of poor customer service. Another study revealed that 76% of customers would abandon a brand after only one bad customer experience. If you provide a positive customer experience, you have an advantage over competitors that don’t.

Why is information governance important to your customers? Implementing a framework that provides policies, standards, and procedures for how your company handles information impacts your customer’s experiences. Maintaining information security and demonstrating compliance offers customers assurance that you are taking steps to protect their data. Furthermore, your company is less likely to experience a successful cyberattack, further engendering customer trust.

Additionally, if customers can easily and quickly locate the information they need — or your company’s employees can when customers seek their assistance — they are more likely to have a positive experience. IG gives you more opportunities to improve customer experience, increasing customer loyalty and drawing business away from companies that don’t.

Information governance will help your organization improve data quality and consistency, improve efficiency, give you a competitive advantage, improve decision-making, help with risk management and improve regulatory compliance.

Cloudficient Can Help Answer the Question “Why Is Information Governance Important?”

If your business is migrating to Office 365, you are likely wondering why is information governance important during and after the transition. We can help you assess your company’s needs to ensure a secure migration. Cloudficient has revolutionized the migration process with next-generation technology. We provide scalable and affordable services that meet your needs and get you up and running fast. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your information governance on the cloud.

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