An information governance program is necessary for organizations to proactively and progressively manage all data, media and information. As the number of regulations governing information increases along with the number of potential information sources, businesses must create, implement and execute best practices in records and information management. These must include the entire lifecycle of a document, regardless of media or format, to ensure adherence to compliance laws. Here are a some of the issues your information governance program should address:
Creation/Receipt – Naming it so anyone can find it
- Taxonomy – Naming, Describing, Classifying and Filing Efficiently
- Standard Classification
- Application of a functional, enterprise-wide retention schedule – auto-classification based on business rules
Management – Who, What, Where, When and Why
- What is a record in the enterprise?
- What are the vital records for the enterprise?
- How are vital records protected? How are they made available?
- What is included in each record as data is gathered or created?
- Is there any information that is not included?
- Is there a migration plan in place for records as technology evolves?
- Where are they expected to reside?
Ultimate Disposition – Getting rid of the ROT while preserving the gold
- When to apply the retention period? Is it based on the fiscal year, the create date or an event?
- What happens to each record as it is no longer needed for operations? Archived? Destroyed?
- Are the permanent/historical records saved so they are protected and preserved for retrieval 10, 20, 50, or even 100 years from now?
Best practices must be consistent and be applied regardless if there is only one employee or an international business. Here is a checklist for what a solid information governance program will include:
Information Governance Checklist:
- Establishment of an Information Governance Program
- Establishment of a Records Program
- Records Liaisons for functional business units
- Publication of easy to use procedures for the creation, indexing, access, retention, storage, holds, destruction and possible migration
- Frequent and regular communication with end users about records and
information creation and protection
- Software to track the life-cycle and ultimate disposition of records and information
- A retention schedule and program to guide how to identify a record, what is kept
and how long the retention is
- All media and formats
- Legal and operational research to cite the periods
- Legal and audit hold requirements
- Establish audit and audit reporting to ensure compliance
- Yearly purging and archiving
- Scheduled reviews of and revisions to ensure compliance with new laws,
regulations and precedent