Proofpoint: Security, Compliance and the Cloud

January 31, 2014

Top 5 InfoGov Trends for 2014

We had a great discussion with ViaLumina founder Barclay Blair last week on trends driving information governance strategies in 2014. For those who missed it, I will attempt to capture the high points here, and we will also be following up over the next couple of weeks with the recorded webinar posted on the Proofpoint.com Resource page.

As Barclay noted, the interest in information governance (IG) has never been higher. Several factors are contributing to this heightened interest, namely 1) the on-going challenge of managing unstructured data growth, 2) the explosion of information located in unmanaged locations (e.g. social, IM, shared drives, etc.), and 3) the increased complexity within the regulatory environment. Additionally – and as demonstrated by the prominence of IG at the upcoming LegalTech conference – the lack of proactive measures to manage data sources has a direct impact on efforts to contain eDiscovery expense and manage preservation obligations.

Given these factors, we explored what thought leading organizations will be doing about information governance in 2014 given the experiences and lessons learned in 2013. Here’s the Top 5 trends for 2014:

  1. From What to How:  In 2013, many organizations began asking questions about IG, and some progressed into pilot projects to assess business impact. Common challenges included the ability to secure executive sponsorship and identify clear functional ownership, along with understanding of the available technologies to enable automation of new policies and rules. In 2014, Barclay expects that more organizations will be able to leverage early successes to tackle these challenges and will turn their focus toward how they can define projects with hard, measurable ROI criteria that can impact the entire enterprise, not just their individual departments.
  2. The Bar Will Get Higher:  Unfortunately, the challenge of producing tangible IG results will be further complicated by even greater complexity in regulatory requirements, where it is not uncommon for a single multinational corporation to have to address more than 8,000 different legal and regulatory record keeping requirements.  Add to this number the expectation by some industry analysts of continued growth by 5% per year. This, along with more severe enforcement penalties, means that organizations will expend a greater amount of resources simply trying to keep up – thus placing a larger premium on technologies that help to automate key compliance processes.
  3. Early leaders looking for value, not risk reduction: Lessons from pilot and proof-of-concept initiatives in 2013 will help to re-shape focus in 2014 toward projects that impact internally shared definitions of business value. This is primarily driven by the prioritization of projects with quantifiable, short term results versus those less precise objectives of risk avoidance. Leading this shift will be organizations who have implemented internal forums where critical IG stakeholders from Compliance, Legal, IT, and InfoSec can review IG project proposals and gain alignment.

  4. The walls of IT are falling. Pragmatic solutions will prevail: Barclay stressed that effective IG approaches will acknowledge today’s flow of information and not limit programs to the confines of IT. The proliferation of cloud-based solutions, the growth of social media, and the impact of BYOD are all drivers here. Effective information governance initiatives in 2014 will align to the new role of the CIO, and will reflect the ways that users interact with information today – in contrast to the unsuccessful ECM initiatives of the 1990s that suffered from low adoption due to user disruption and the complexities of managing large centralized technology footprints.
  5. Automation of IG will accelerate: Ultimately, keeping up with exploding data growth, increased regulatory complexity and constant pressure to lower cost will lead to technology adoption. Barclay sees a number of areas were adoption is accelerating, including the use of in-place methods of governing high value content, the use of computer-assisted review techniques in addressing over-grown legacy data sources, as well as advances in classification technologies.

We concluded the discussion with a brief overview of Proofpoint’s information governance solutions, and a discussion of our Information Governance Assessment, where we are able to utilize our Data Profiling Tool to quickly provide visibility into targeted data sources in order shape information governance priorities.

Looks like 2014 will be an eventful and productive year as information governance becomes a mainstream component of IT and compliance strategies.

 

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