GN chats with Objective’s Customer Success VP Andrea Breen

Information Silos are never going to go away, but with the right technology they can be tamed and managed. Objective VP of Sales and Customer Success Andrea Breen chats to GN about the importance of good information governance.

Andrea Breen

GN: What are the risks associated with holding information?

AB: Organisations, contending with an overflow of information and managing it across a diverse array of applications, struggle with what’s known as ‘content sprawl.’ This content sprawl stems from a real challenge—information overload—which can significantly hinder productivity, increase organisational risk and impede business success.

Organisations need accurate and reliable information to deliver on their goals; however, they must also follow rules about how they manage their information. These rules include making sure that personal or sensitive information is safe, data accurate, and the organisation is not retaining information longer than necessary. It’s also important to keep track of all the information around it, like who has accessed it and when.

There are risks involved with retaining information longer than required. For example, there could be financial consequences or damage to the organisation’s reputation. In today’s world, security is a top concern for most, if not all, organisations. It’s important to protect information by making sure only authorised people can access it and it is not held longer than necessary.

We have all heard about data breaches in the media. Often, the data that gets exposed in these breaches should have been disposed of or destroyed before the breach happened. If that had been done, the impact of the breach could have been much less severe.

What do we mean by information governance, and why is this important for all levels of government?

Information governance refers to the processes, roles, policies, standards, and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information across an organisation. Some organisations will feel that they are compliant as they have a system in place, however, in many organisations the system isn’t being used correctly.

The importance of information governance lies in its ability to provide reliable and accurate information. In a government organisation, for example, having access to accurate information is crucial for making effective decisions.

Information governance ensures that information is handled appropriately, securely, and ethically. This is particularly important in government organisations, where accountability and transparency are key. By handling information in a responsible manner, these organisations can build trust with the public.

What are the key information governance objectives all public sector agencies should have?

Information governance plays a crucial role in any organisation.

It starts with ensuring compliance, which means the organisation adheres to all information-related rules and regulations.

It also promotes effective decision-making by providing reliable and accurate information.

Additionally, it facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing within the organisation, enabling people to work together more effectively and share knowledge with ease.

Information governance also helps mitigate security risks. Proper management of information reduces the risks associated with data breaches or other security issues.

And finally, good information governance is key to enhancing organisational efficiency. It ensures that the entire organisation operates smoothly and efficiently. So, in a nutshell, information governance is a comprehensive approach that touches every aspect of an organisation’s operation.

What are the biggest barriers to achieving good information governance?

Information is everywhere. Companies across all sorts of industries, including public sector organsations, are struggling to keep up. It’s like a tidal wave of data flooding the many systems and applications we use daily…and it’s expected to keep growing.

This information overload is not only making it challenging to manage and comply with legislation consistently, but it’s also a source of frustration for business users to be able to locate and use relevant information to get their job done.

We interviewed a number of CIOs from public sector and regulated organisations, and they expressed that their biggest fear is losing control over their information, a situation often referred to as content sprawl. Interestingly, 41% of these CIOs pinpointed content sprawl as their top challenge when it comes to managing information.

Federated information governance is a relatively new term we’re seeing in discussions with government organisations and technology vendors alike. What does it mean? And what’s its role in taming the content sprawl?

Federated information governance brings a modern, connected approach to corporate information governance – it provides a way to manage everything from one place – but leaves content and data in their native systems.  

Federated information governance enables users to work within their application of choice while compliance necessities are automated across all sources with zero impact on end-users.

Information is managed to meet regulatory obligations in the most appropriate location while ensuring its integrity and accuracy.

Federated information governance, put simply, connects information silos to discover and understand your information landscape to reduce information management overheads and provide visibility and control.

Some specific use cases aside from accurate recordkeeping practises (which is of vital importance to public sector organisations) include:

  • Cleanse information, identify and act upon redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) information and duplicates so that users are presented with only accurate information. This brings the additional benefit of reduced storage and infrastructure costs.
  • Detect personally identifiable information (PII) in order to take action, and protect sensitive information.
  • Transfer or migrate content from legacy systems.
  • Identify, locate and process key information for eDiscovery and Freedom of Information requests.

Ultimately, federated governance reduces the overhead of manual processing, searching and identifying content.

We’ve already taken a look at Ojective’s acquisition of Simflofy what does it mean for Objective?

Simflofy’s technology significantly contributed to Objective 3Sixty, a new product in Objective’s Content and Process  portfolio of products.  It extends the  suite to deliver capabilities that solve real-life information challenges of large and complex organisations, ultimately helping them deliver real community outcomes.

What sort of reception has the product had overseas? What’s the uptake? Who’s using it and what are the results?

We’ve seen many customers and partners join the Objective family following the acquisition of Simflofy and the subsequent launch of Objective 3Sixty. We have welcomed new customers from different global regions to address their unique information governance requirements and objectives.

While I can’t mention specific customer names, we’ve helped them solve a range of challenges including large-scale and ongoing data migration projects, through to complete federated information governance projects with enterprise search and records-in-place capabilities.

Some of the solutions have thousands of users and document volumes into the billions.

What would you like to see for Objective 3Sixty in terms of its use by the Australian public sector?

At Objective our mission is to deliver outstanding digital government software, to drive stronger communities and nations. Objective 3Sixty plays a big part in expanding how we can help public sector organisations deliver upon their goals and ultimately how they serve the community.

We are confident that the addition of Objective 3Sixty to our existing suite of information governance solutions will empower public sector organisations with a comprehensive strategy for managing and governing their information across all levels.

A holistic approach not only enhances organisational efficiencies but also mitigates security risks and ensures the accuracy of information, all while adhering to relevant legislation and regulations.

At Objective, we’re really connected to our customers, and we take great pride in the results we help them achieve, especially when these results contribute to tangible community outcomes. With the addition of Objective 3Sixty, we are excited to continue delivering such impactful results.

What’s the future of information governance? Do you see a future where silos will become a relic of the past?

Right now, there’s a lot of emphasis on making sure information is secure and that organisations are following all the rules and regulations, while also giving users accurate information.

This is definitely important, but it’s not the end of the story. Once you have a good handle on managing information across different areas, the next step is to use this information to gain new insights, share knowledge and work smarter.

Anthony Turco, our CTO, has recently written several papers on this topic regarding connecting disparate data silos and providing a singular virtual Data Fabric woven from the enterprise’s unstructured and structured data.

By leveraging advanced Data Fabric capabilities, an enterprise can build a highly automated Knowledge Graph capable of delivering valuable capabilities such as question/answer services, semantic search, interactive search/discovery, and other relevant knowledge-driven use cases.

Want to find out where your data resides? Get a personalised report here.

What if you had a single view of your data? Read more about Objective 3Sixty.

White papers, research, blogs, insights and more. Check out some additional resources.

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