Information Governance

What is Information Governance?

Information governance software assists businesses in managing the use, security, transfer, retention and disposition of business information, in order to reduce risk and ensure compliance.

Information governance (IG) software addresses aspects of a multi-disciplinary framework to ensure normative behavior in identifying and valuing business information. IG software aims to help organizations use their data according to business policies and goals while reducing risk and ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and industry standards.

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Who uses Information Governance software, and why?

Businesses of all sizes and types, from sole proprietorships to large for-profit and nonprofit corporations, use Information Governance (IG) software to manage the information necessary to start, operate, and close a business. Once thought of as nice-to-have, IG software is now imperative in regulated industries, such as finance, health, manufacturing, and transportation, and business activities, such as payroll, procurement, mergers, and acquisitions.

Law firms also use information governance software to manage and execute on their internal policies for storing, retaining and disposing of data.

Is information and records management software the same as information governance software?

Many think information and records management (IRM) software is IG software. IRM is a component of IG software that manages the information lifecycle from creation to defensible destruction. IG software includes the capabilities to find business records and regulated information in the growing corpus of digital information. Electronic discovery software like Casepoint and Epiq Discovery, and search technologies like Merlin Integrated Search and the X1 Enterprise Platform, can find and collect business data from laptops, file shares, and cloud repositories.

What features does Information Governance include?

Many information governance vendors offer a software suite of tools to govern information wth features that include user, group, and document policy management, search engine technology, workflows for information lifecycles, analytics, data classification, mapping, and reporting tools. Some products, such as Filetrail Governance Policy Suite, focus on a particular industry, such as law firms. Other vendors focus on specific business information, such as bankruptcy and intellectual property.

The LawNext directory identifies the following features of IG software: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests, Data Security, Records Management, Retention and Disposal Schedules, Privacy and Information Sharing Technologies, and Document Processing, including Document Classification, Indexing, Metadata.

How can my company use Information Governance software?

Your company may share data and information across business units, commercialize it, collaborate on it, or even use it for data-driven decision-making. But you must also maintain customer, employee, and partner trust in data and information use that requires an information governance framework reinforced with a software solution to use information in a compliant, ethical, and responsible manner.

You can use IG software to find, map, and report regulated business information and manage its lifecycle from creation to deletion to comply with laws, regulations, and industry standards. The software can also identify, map, and manage other types of information, such as due diligence, personally identifiable information (PII), and other private data, to comply with international privacy laws and regulations and record mergers and acquisitions.

Should I choose Information Governance software that is cloud-based or on-premises?

Most organizations store information on-premises and in the cloud. Whether you choose cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) or on-premises IG software, ensure it can work with your data everywhere. And if all the software you review can reach your data, look to SaaS for efficiency, security, and high performance.

The reliability, performance, and security of SaaS can meet or exceed on-premises software. Small and midsized companies embrace SaaS to compete with the resources of large corporations. Organizations of all sizes can reduce their total cost of ownership in IG software by using SaaS.

Cloud computing resources expand to meet your performance requirements. Vendors use high-grade encryption, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), to transmit and store data that can reside in various global locations to meet data privacy and security requirements.

Consider on-premises CLM software if you need to meet stringent client data security and privacy requirements or integrate with legacy systems that SaaS cannot access without heroic efforts. You must have sufficient IT budget and resources to support and maintain an on-premises IG deployment, which is a long-term commitment that can extend years and even span the business's existence.

Should I select an all-in-one or more focused Information Governance software?

Traditional IG software is all-in-one, one-size-fits-all software designed to search and find business information and treat it as a strategic asset subject to command and control. The software includes a search engine and functions to ensure the information's integrity, availability, protection, and preservation. Suppose your organization is not ready to commit to an IG framework and all-in-one software solution. In that case, an excellent first step is locating and mapping business information using an advanced search engine, classifying it and collecting or mapping it. As your business matures and gains complexity, you will want to identify critical business information upon creation to marshal the asset throughout its lifecycle. Look for IG software that focuses on your industry segment or information types.

What should I expect to pay for Information Governance software?

IG software has numerous variables in its pricing model. Most models calculate the price based on the organization's size, number of employees, and the amount of data or information under governance. You may also pay for the connection technology used to access information on-premises or in the cloud.

Licensing cloud-based IG software reduces the total cost of ownership. Cloud software requires no capital expenditures (CAPEX) and maintenance on local computers to run the software. It relieves organizations of the administrative burden of supporting, upgrading, and patching on-premises servers and IG software. You also get immediate access to the cloud-based software's latest features and security updates in the cloud.