IN A NUTSHELL
First and foremost, we help sort through information overload, finding and enhancing what has value, removing what doesn’t and locating and managing sensitive content. We’d love to talk to you about how we help you achieve that, but if you’d just like to research a little yourself for now, these are some of the ways we do it:
It’s surprisingly common how many organisations don’t know how much data they have, let alone what is lurking in it. Get a clear picture of the unnecessary costs and risks within your files by conducting an information audit. This will identify surplus and at risk files within the legal, regulatory, and business requirements which apply to your organisation. You will learn the relative cost and priority of remediating each category of information, which forms the basis of an information governance strategy. The detailed information contained in our report will help you prepare and justify your business case for information governance. Find out more about our information audit.
It is essential to derive an achievable information governance policy which will become the foundation on which a repeatable and defensible process is built. Our experienced consultants have many years of experience to help you build policies and standards which contain the right level of detail to be actionable, which are also compliant with relevant regulatory requirements.
Ideally, your information governance project will introduce procedures and workflows which will pro-actively monitor the quality and compliance of content in a continuous cycle, automatically applying policies and notifying information owners and relevant users for disposal or remediation action on leaked records, sensitive data spillage, PII, stale content beyond its approved retention period, ROT, e-trash and other content quality issues. Our consultants have led many information governance projects within a range of clients from small local Government offices to global corporations, so know how best to engage with and motivate staff and to provide this function efficiently, as the allocation and co-ordination of the tasks within these workflows is vital for the success of the project. If you are just getting started with an InfoGov project, you may find the advice in our downloadable guide helpful – 10 Steps to Better IG.
Redundant, obsolete and trivial content which gets in the way of business content with real value should be deleted (or quarantined to cheaper secondary storage) to improve user productivity and reduce storage costs. We have developed definitions of up to 50 types of ROT which can be implemented quickly to gain rapid momentum in the implementation of your project. As tasks are policy-driven and fully audited, the whole process is defensible.
SENSITIVE DATA REMEDIATION
Many types of financially, commercially, private and personal sensitive data records can put your organisation at significant risk and have the potential to incur unnecessary cost if left unmanaged. Strengthening data protection regulations will result in increasingly significant fines for non-compliance. This risk is often overlooked due to the perceived effort required to retrospectively apply good records management. We can help locate up to 35 general types of sensitive data, plus specific sensitive data stored as part of your own business processes and offer a clear plan of action for remediation and improved management of the relevant documents. Read more about how GDPR will affect your organisation.
Users can often struggle to locate relevant files within a poorly structured fileshare, due to poor file naming conventions and a bloated folder structure. Making these files accessible again is most easily achieved by adding relevant metadata to make subsequent searches more effective, but asking users to add metadata to millions of legacy files is not a practical solution. We can advise how software can automate this process by applying metadata and classification rules based on a number of attributes, including file content. Results will be entirely consistent and defensible, as they will conform to predetermined characteristics, but can also be sampled or reviewed for accuracy if required.
A classification is a hierarchy of information which can be used for content restructuring, the application of a retention policy, determination of most appropriate handling of information assets in mergers and diverstitures or for enhanced navigation of content. Determing where files should be located in a classification is achieved using various combined metadata values to prepare a virtual model of restructured data. The complex inter-relationship to define a suitable classification and the underlying metadata to support it are tasks which our consultants are renowned for completing quickly and efficiently. Testing and feedback cycles typically take the classification through a number of iterations, which can then be implemented as a new filing structure, or used as metadata for navigation.
A logical progression for many organisations is to implement an Enterprise Content Management System (ECM), which will introduce enhanced functionality for the capture, storage, management and preservation of relevant data to improve access and increase levels of staff collaboration on your data in future. The precise design and efficient population of a new ECM such as SharePoint should be carefully planned to ensure users gain maximum benefit from the new system with minimum effort. The design will reflect consistent organisational and metadata requirements, to ensure relevant content is available quickly to those who need it, whilst simultaneously securing sensitive information. One of the key barriers to user adoption is the transition from current storage, typically in fileshares, which can largely be overcome by populating the new system with a bulk migration of this legacy data. When completed manually, bulk legacy migrations are slow and inconsistent. Software based migrations are becoming far more common, as they deliver lower volumes of higher quality relevant migrated data with consistent metadata, reducing the volume-based cost and staff effort required for a successful migration. Find out more about migration to SharePoint.
Ongoing monitoring of content is essential to maintain compliance with your information governance policies. This monitoring process can be automated using software, and we offer guidance on how to implement this yourselves, or an ongoing managed service to deliver this successfully for you.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP…
Find out whether we can help you with some free advice, otherwise download our guide, 10 Steps to Better IG with expert advice on better Information Governance, plus a free subscription to our newsletter, which contains helpful tips, advice and news about IG.