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Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim

Are you normal?

Disclaimer first: This feedback is based on the customer conversations I’ve had in the last few months. As always, individual industries or regions may have varying results.

One of the most common conversations I have at conferences and user group meetings goes something like this:

Me: Have you done anything yet with information governance? Are you still in the talking stage?

Customer: We just started in our information governance initiative. We really don’t know what we’re doing yet. We’re having trouble getting executive buy-in. And people still don’t understand that data is kind of a big deal.

Me: Ah. (insert knowing nod here) How long has your group been working at this problem?

Customer: 3 years.

woman checking bar chartsThe conversation keeps going until I realize that the customer is just trying to figure out if they are really wacky, or if they are experiencing the same trouble as everyone else. It’s kind of comforting. At a recent data-centered event, a first-time attendee (and awesome speaker) called the conference “group therapy.” Wow, there are other people like me!

To help you answer these questions yourself, here are my impressions of NORMAL in regards to EIM. All of these percentages are rough (see disclaimer above).

  • Only roughly 30% have established a Shared Services organization that manages information from a central point.
  • 80% have heard of information governance.
  • 20% have been working on information governance for the last few years.
  • 40% say they’d like to start an information governance program in the next year.
  • Another 40% think information governance could be a big deal, but think their own company is not very close to figuring out what it really means for them.
  • 10% are optimistic that they have all of the right pieces in place for their information governance venture to be a success.
  • 70% are still looking for the right executive sponsor to truly champion their mission. Some technically have an executive sponsor, but that sponsor has not championed the cause or shown any real personal investment.
  • 40% are not using enterprise EIM tools to help them scale their information governance activities. They are bending Adobe Forms, Excel, Sharepoint, and email instead, and doing most of the work manually.
  • 100% are struggling with the right metrics and KPIs to capture to show value.
  • 80% aren’t really gathering much for metrics at all. 90% aren’t gathering business-focused KPIs.
  • 95% have not connected with their own business process experts to collaborate on information governance solutions.
  • 95% understand that retention and archiving policies are critical, but are not yet ready to manage them as part of information governance.
  • 80% have use scenarios for jointly managing rich content (documents, contracts, etc.) and master data, but are not yet holistically tackling the problem.
  • 80% are skipping the information discovery step which helps set a baseline for information quality. (Some call this profiling and assessment.)
  • 30% no longer define themselves as business or IT. The labels no longer fit. Instead, they say, “I’m both.”
  • 30% are unsure if there are tools out there that can help them with information governance problems, or if they are destined to do it all by hand.
  • 100% are sure there are information problems greatly affecting their business.

Despite the best practices published, the fancy whitepapers, and the analyst reports, the state of information governance is still fairly new. Some seasoned veterans have had great success. Be inspired by their stories, but please don’t be discouraged that your company is not there yet.

Most aren’t.

That makes you normal. Well, at least in this. 🙂

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