Financial services firms face a unique set of challenges in putting information governance (IG) in place. We’ve worked with most of the leading firms, and we’ve seen that most IG efforts tend to be tactical across the various control functions, with siloed work functions and inconsistent processes, roles, standards, and metrics across these areas. The result is that many firms struggle to ensure that their records are not just secure, but also easy for their business users to locate and access.
We’ve also noticed that many firms don’t understand the true value of their information. Their IG efforts have been primarily focused on risk reduction, and in the process of addressing risk, they have largely failed to realize the intrinsic value of the information itself – information that includes brand, customer data, knowledge from research and product development efforts, etc. In fact, this is information that the firm could be leveraging to generate revenue, improve operational efficiency, and increase competitive advantage.
To address these needs, we developed a framework for next-generation information governance – an approach to IG that allows the lower levels of the organization to achieve additional utility from information management, and as a derivative, enable additional governance.
But improving information governance (IG) requires much more than just policies or technology. It also requires elements such as organizational resources, structure, standard practices, and communications and training. As many financial services firms have had the misfortune to learn, implementing technology without paying sufficient attention to these other areas tends to result in abysmal user adoption rates. Accordingly, the information governance framework we have developed addresses a total of eight categories:
- Information Architecture
- Policies and Procedures
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Financials and Metrics
- Communications and Training
information governance, rolled out in this framework, not only can dramatically improve the various control functions, but it can also provide a source of competitive advantage and deliver significant strategic value.