The increasing important of data and information management has gained momentum in tech news lately, as companies build up far more data than they've ever had thanks to better documentation and more contact with customers (much of which being through social media). But information management goes beyond this -- it includes the way you organize and process all the information that you've built up, enterprise-wide. And information governance is a step further than that.
Ina L. Mutschelknaus and Mike Keilen, who work in solution management at SAP Labs, covered information governance in the latest article for SAP Professional Journal, "A Primer on Information Governance: How to Make Your Information Behave." They describe it as "domesticating your wild information" -- taming the seemingly endless stream of data collected, and being able to derive business benefit from it.
The article takes you through a number of areas in a given information governance plan -- including culture, information management maturity, management sponsorship, and data domains and processes -- and references a number of SAP customer success stories. One such success story talks about how research into the number of people that touched master data allowed a company to streamline the way its master data is maintained:
One global food manufacturer was going through business process reengineering with an ERP solution. During that optimization proc
ess, it quickly discovered that it also needed to optimize the resources focusing on master data to gain the full business value of the ERP implementation. After conducting an extensive study, it uncovered that 98 people were maintaining master information as some portion of their duties. This surprising result helped the company realize that it could centralize master data maintenance functions down to 19 full-time employees. The benefits? Optimized business process, reduced risk, and trusted decision-making.
That's a tremendous overhaul, and I'm sure the study (mentioned as "extensive", but I'm willing to bet the company involved has other, less appropriate words for it) found all kinds of other relevant information. When we're constantly looking to do less with more, finding ways to pare down convoluted or untrustworthy processes, to reduce risk and gain confidence in data, is a necessity.
To read Ina and Mike's full article, SAP Professional Journal subscribers can go here. If you're not a subscriber and would like to learn more, go here.