Assessing Your Company’s Inventory Maturity Model – Level 5

Information Governance Maturity ModelAssessing your company’s information governance and avoiding costly liabilities and exposure is the purpose of the six-tier information governance maturity model. Jeanne Caldwell of RulesMapper outlines the characteristics of organizations at each level of the model.

Maturity Level 5 – Optimized
The highest level of maturity is totally sustainable, integrated and transparent. Organizations that have achieved this level of maturity are able to implement their information governance programs effectively for all information formats and locations. This level of maturity ensures that there are minimal risks related to producing information. Significant ROI is realized through business process improvement and technology deployments that are based on the inventory data.

Responsibility: There is central management with responsibility that is assigned and staffed. Departments are responsible for participating in the inventory process and maintaining the inventory with management oversight, with maintenance activity being done both when there are changes and on a prescribed schedule. There is enterprise oversight of the activity, and it is budgeted and supported at the highest levels of the organization.

Process: The process for inventorying is standardized and consistent; it is also sustainable. The process is supported by a centralized database that tracks the initial data and any changes to the data. The optimized maturity level includes inventory integration with other systems to insure information governance consistency. Example: The integration of privacy and security classifications into ECM and CMS solutions.

Formats: At this maturity level, all electronic and hardcopy information in the enterprise is inventoried, including databases, Internet/intranet, desktop, email, social media, etc. In addition to inventorying information in the enterprise, all information assets related to core business functions that are in the custody of third parties are inventoried. This could include worker compensation claims handled by outside third parties, specialized safety training tracked by third parties, etc.

Stewardship: During the inventory, the stewards of each information asset are identified. This includes all electronic information assets. In addition to the stewards within the enterprise, the stewards for information in the custody of third parties are identified. The stewardship role is defined to include responsibilities applicable to information governance at the department level. Additionally, any information stewardship roles and responsibilities for third party stewards are memorialized contractually.

Duplication: At this maturity level there is a deliberate effort to identify the information assets and instances of duplication, throughout the enterprise and within departments. It includes all electronic information and information in the custody of third parties. All data is systematically analyzed and de-duplicated.

Information Governance: The identification of the organization’s assets establishes the framework for information governance. Information governance is applied enterprise-wide, and is not based on risk. The inventory is a totally transparent process throughout the enterprise. Information governance compliance is audited on a regular schedule against the data contained in the inventory.

Inventory Redux
Although some consider the information inventory to be “old school,” it remains absolutely essential in today’s information environment. As organizations focus on information governance, they realize that it requires a knowledge base of the organization’s information assets, and that the information inventory is the cornerstone for building an effective information governance practice that defuses liabilities and increases cost efficiency. Once this centralized asset is created, only then can an organization attack the systematized layers of better information governance — and reap the rewards.

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