How to become your company’s data governance champion

With data pouring into enterprises at an unprecedented rate, there’s never been a greater opportunity to leverage the power of information and generate value for a business.

At the same time, the level of data risk is high: security and privacy threats abound, attacks are becoming more sophisticated, regulations set requirements for how data should be used and protected, and the sheer volume of data makes the management of information more difficult.

This is why developing a strong, effective data governance strategy is so vital today. Organizations need to have a good handle on what kind of data they possess, which data is most valuable to the organization, where that data is located at any point in time, who has access to the data and how is it being used, how long the data needs to be retained, and more.

In short, they need to achieve a 360-degree view of their data resources. Technology solutions available enable companies to do just that, automating the data governance process.

Governance relies on technology, clear processes and a champion to drive the effort

Using technology solutions, organizations can take action to preserve essential data that needs to be archived, eliminate duplicate data, and get rid of unwanted files. They can index and classify data based on pre-defined policies, and search for specific collections of files according to keywords and topics, classification tags, file types, timeframe, and location.

In addition to having the right technology in place, companies need to implement some basic best practices to ensure effective data governance.

These include having an executive sponsor of the governance effort who can help limit the fragmentation that might take place if there are multiple governance efforts; establishing ownership of the governance project and finding strong allies, which can keep it moving forward even if there is resistance from some in the organization; thinking in a strategic manner but acting in a tactical way based on specific use cases; and remembering to define, measure and track metrics, so team members can know if the governance strategy has been successful.

The management of data is not getting any easier, especially with the growing number of mobile devices and apps in the workplace, the emergence of hybrid cloud environments and the rise of unstructured data from numerous sources.

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine applications, many types of businesses will see a dramatic rise in the amount of data they need to manage. Research firm Gartner Inc. has predicted that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use this year, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things are being connected every day, the firm says. One can only imagine how much data these connected devices will add to the mix.

It’s safe to say that effective data management and governance has never been so important for organizations. IT executives need to impress upon other senior business leaders how vital it is to create and maintain a governance program that includes the necessary technology tools and processes to protect the enterprise’s most valuable information resources.

Become your organization’s data governance superhero today.

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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.