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How to maximize the value of your information governance strategy

Product Portfolio Manager, Master Data Management, IBM

Remember the rise of process reengineering more than 20 years ago? To think that optimizing how work is done across departments was once a novel idea is amazing. While the concepts were widely espoused during the 1990s, many process reengineering initiatives failed to deliver real change. Sometimes, the only result to show for the effort was a pile of to-be flowcharts and process documents.

A lesson from the past

Unfortunately, some information governance initiatives in our current era are at risk of following the same path as process reengineering. Governance teams document policies, standards and procedures, but they often lack a mechanism to drive and measure improvements in data quality. If the governance team’s output is limited to the typical artifacts, then the risk exists that the team’s efforts may not drive any lasting business improvements.

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/datamanagement-blog.jpgEnterprise resource planning

For process reengineering, outcomes started to change when organizations began implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The integrated nature of ERP software drives alignment across departments and provides a system to orchestrate and enforce the redesigned processes.

ERP can make a process reengineering program tangible for users by translating concepts and ideas into screens and actions. It elevates the output of process reengineering from a document to a daily part of business operations.

Tangible benefits

A master data management (MDM) system provides the single, trusted source of truth for key information such as customers and products. To complete the analogy, MDM is critical to the success of information governance initiatives because MDM provides the system in which the benefits of governance decisions can be clearly seen and measured.

While each division or department may agree in principle to a set of governance policies, the benefits of adherence to the policies—or the problems created by a lack of adherence—only become tangible by implementing an MDM system. Because MDM is by its nature cross functional, it provides a platform for governance teams to drive alignment of data standards across the organization.

The governance-MDM relationship

My colleague, Manoj Thatte, will be sharing ideas about the close relationship between information governance and MDM in the presentation, Evolving from MDM to Enterprise Data Governance at the upcoming Gartner MDM Summit, 16–18 March 2016. If you attend the Summit, please stop by Booth 202 and let me know your thoughts on this topic. Whether or not you can attend the Summit, be sure to learn more details about IBM Master Data Management