Big Data Comes With a Risk Warning

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Big Data Risks

Without effective information governance policies, big data represents a huge threat to a company's reputation and bottom line—and to its customers' trust.

Even if daily policies are adopted to classify and tag this content, the volumes of data involved and the changes in staff attitudes that are needed present a significant challenge.  Automated processes and prompted assistance are likely to provide the most solid solutions. Tagging and classifying existing content (to add value) and remote ROT (redundant, obsolete and trivial content) would be an impossible task without rules-based algorithms that match defined governance policies.

Governance Is a Team Project

With the support of senior management, the legal, IT and operations departments need to establish policies and initiate good practices that will protect the organization from growing cyber-threats and the visible impact of leaks and breaches.

Once an information governance policy is created, enforcing it becomes the next hurdle.  Forty-one percent of the survey respondents said this was a major challenge. Getting the right people involved, particularly senior management, also can be a challenge.

While you need to have someone with overall responsibility for the organization's information governance, creating a team across the business—including representatives from IT, legal and records management—will help raise collective awareness of why such a policy is so crucial.

The reason is simple: Every organization should have an information governance policy that closely aligns to its overall risk management strategies. Those that don’t are leaving themselves wide open to attack, and senior executives who do not see this are being negligent by burying their heads in the sand. 

Organizations that have implemented information governance policies should make sure they are regularly updated and compliance-monitored. They also should ensure that staff members, from senior management all the way down, understand their importance. 

If you haven’t got systems in place to help manage, classify and store data, while providing enhanced discovery procedures, you should make this a priority. An effective information governance policy not only protects a business, it also provides greater agility and profitability.    

John Mancini is an author and speaker in the AIIM global community of information professionals. He believes that in the next five years, a wave of digital transformation will sweep through organizations, whose leaders will face a fundamental choice between information opportunity and information chaos.


This article was originally published on 2016-03-24
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