Transforming governance in the insights era

Offering Manager, IBM Cloud Pak for Data, IBM Analytics

Let’s face it, most of us think of something negative when we hear the term “governance.” It’s no surprise then that information governance is often seen as a necessary overhead the enterprise absorbs simply to stay in business and keep itself clear of trouble when auditors come knocking. The company brings in governance as a “big brother” to watch over its information. As a result, enterprise data workers may view governance as potentially hampering their productivity and efficiency because they must now deal with complex controls and processes to get to the data they need on a day-to-day basis. The good news is, we are in the midst of a fundamental change in this space. 

There’s a revolution taking place within information governance — one that’s driven by a new set of enterprise requirements. This change is driven by the growing needs of business users, and the recognition that trusted, high-quality, easy-to-find data can be the differentiator that drives better business outcomes.  

Responding to Data Governance 2.0 requirements

In this new era, information governance solutions have to step up to meet enterprise needs, giving birth to what Forrester sees as Data Governance 2.0. Information governance is now not only an IT-driven practice to stay compliant with various regulations while dealing with data that is within a corporate firewall. Business user’s requirements are now also a major influencing force that is shaping this market. Their requirements come in the form of the need for quick, easy and safe access to trusted information assets, without having to go through IT to find and provision data. In addition, information being found needs to be "fit for purpose" or in context of what it is being sought for in the first place. Business users are also demanding that they share assets among themselves collaboratively and aren’t focused on if the data resides on-premise or in the public cloud. They want to have access to information of all types, structured, semi-structured or un-structured. 

We’re responding to this new set of requirements by modernizing and integrating our IBM Information Governance portfolio under IBM Unified Governance. Unification includes becoming platform agnostic (on-premise or public cloud), across both structured and unstructured information, and integrating the breadth and depth of our governance offerings to meet ever-growing demands. 

Our vision is to create a unified governance platform that integrates product portfolios and moves IBM governance solutions to a services-oriented paradigm. The strategy for this transformation is based on two major usage patterns of governance solutions: governance for compliance and governance for insights. This, in turn, has given rise to a corresponding set of use cases:

  • Governance for compliance: Discover, classify, catalog and manage information in ways that meet the obligations enforced by both regulatory and corporate mandates
    • Regulations (e.g. GDPR, SOX, PCI, BCBS 239 etc.)
    • eDiscovery
    • Archiving
    • Audit readiness
    • Records and retention
    • Privacy and protection
  • Governance for insight: Provide safe access to trusted, high quality, fit-for-purpose data, while also facilitating effective collaboration among team members
    • Self-service access to data and analytics (data findability and self-service provisioning for analytical insights purposes)
    • Governed & Trusted Enterprise Information Repositories (such as Data Lakes)
    • 360-degree information-driven insights 

The platform delivering solutions around these sets of use cases is comprised of core governance, information integration and master data services that are delivered to clients through user interfaces, which can be personalized, and APIs. These will be complemented by services that help clients across a host of supplementary data management and analytics services, as shown in the below diagram. 


Transforming governance for greater business success

While the regulatory compliance aspect of governance doesn't disappear in the Governance 2.0 world, a whole new paradigm of governance has set in and I'm excited to be part of this transformation. I believe that this transformation is what’s needed to finally change the perception of governance to something positive and essential; a catalyst for greater business successes. We will be discussing this and the IBM Unified Governance solution more in the weeks to come. 

Learn more about effective data governance by reading the whitepaper Achieving a Unified Governance Strategy.