4 Ways to win the race toward data management

IT professionals face huge challenges – and massive opportunities. As data has become a valuable and critical element of business, the way IT pros manage it can largely determine company success.

Data management encompasses a lot of elements – availability, security, privacy, compliance, location, reliability, backup and more. Without a strong data management or governance strategy in place, data resources can be compromised or misused. And with many enterprises’ data volumes growing at an enormous rate, the challenges of data management are not getting any easier.

Every day brings more information into corporate systems, and data gathering will continue unabated as more employees use mobile devices and apps on the jobs – and as the world becomes ever more digitized and connected. How can IT professionals cope? Here are four best practices to help every organization excel at data management and governance.

1. Get an executive sponsor.

Organizations are likely to have more than one governance initiative underway at the same time. This can lead to disjointed and even conflicting projects. Gartner has noted that more than half of global enterprises can have between five and seven disjointed information governance projects going on simultaneously. An executive sponsor can help minimize the fragmentation that might occur with these multiple efforts. In fact, if senior-level IT executives are involved, they can help prevent projects from becoming disjointed in the first place.

2. Establish ownership of your data governance initiative, and find strong allies.

By establishing ownership and developing allies within the organization (in addition to the executive sponsor), you can take charge of the effort and keep it moving forward in spite of any resistance. Collaborate with key allies to help ensure success of the project. Encouraging adoption of governance policies will be easier if you have internal advocates.

3. Think in a strategic way; act in a tactical one. Gartner suggests that an approach to information governance based on specific use cases is a good way to break through barriers to adoption. The analysts say these use cases can be used as starting points for larger programs. IT professionals need to think in terms of creating a big picture one project at a time.

4. Don’t forget to define, measure and track metrics. How can you know if you’ve been truly successful without some formal measurement of results? Take the time at the outset of a project to define and aim for clear metrics, which will help determine the level of your achievement. These metrics should be closely aligned with business objectives, and must be measured on a regular basis throughout the life of the project. They should also be shared with members of the team and the executive sponsors.

By following these best practices, IT professionals can help ensure that the data management governance efforts at their organization are successful and the enterprise can meet its business objectives.

Learn more about deploying and supporting data governance within your organization.

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David Siles

David is Chief Technology Officer for DataGravity. Prior to becoming CTO, David served as vice president of worldwide field operations at DataGravity. Previously, he was a member of the senior leadership team at Veeam Software. He also served as CTO and VP of professional services for systems integrator Hipskind TSG. A graduate of DeVry University, he is a frequent speaker at top tier technology shows and a recognized expert in virtualization.