Information governance leadership: Controlling data and information to achieve strategic objectives

  • Digital transformation over the past decade has created new roles and titles to respond to the exponential growth of data and to manage the arising risks and opportunities.
  • This article examine the different types of information governance leadership models in corporate and government organisations.
  • Information governance leadership is concerned with leading and collaborating with professionals from different disciplines across the ‘information silos’ to align activities and technologies.

Hands swiping on smart phone and tablet devices

Cyberattacks, data breach, privacy of customers, citizens and employees’ personal information, together with the opportunities to create value from data and information held by organisations — are major drivers for organisations to implement a strategic approach to the governance of data and information as part of good corporate governance. 

Information governance provides an overarching strategic framework for organisations seeking to control and secure information throughout their organisation, which both maximises the value of information and minimises the costs and risks of holding it. 

Twelve months ago, the director-general of the Australian National Archives called for chief information governance officer (CIGO) positions to be created to lead the digital transformation in federal government agencies. This article looks at different information governance leadership models being used in corporate and government organisations together with the views of information governance leaders in those organisations.

Who is responsible for data and information?

Typically, an organisation’s data and information is managed by various ‘owners’ and will vary according to the industry and organisational structure. In general, responsibility for data and information includes: 

  • data — chief data officer
  • data analytics — chief data scientist
  • customer data — chief digital officer or chief marketing officer 
  • eDiscovery — ediscovery counsel or general counsel
  • privacy — chief privacy officer
  • information security — chief information security officer or chief information officer
  • records and information management — records and information manager.

As the above lists highlights, the digital transformation over the past decade has created new roles and titles responding to the exponential growth of data to manage the risks and opportunities arising from data and information held by organisations. A key challenge for the continuing digital transformation and growth in data is for organisations to have internal organisational structures that align with organisational goals and objectives. In the context of responsibility for data and information, organisations require a cohesive governance structure to ensure data and information are effectively controlled and optimised to enable organisational objectives to
be met. This is achieved through a formal information governance framework and effective information governance leadership.

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