Jonathan would like to thank Craig Bliss and Marc Sterman, senior principals at Knightsbridge Solutions, and Dr. Ken Krigelman for their contributions to this month's column.Managing information as an asset is essential to guiding the organization and positioning it for success. As an organization's business processes and information systems evolve and expand, effectively managing information as an organizational asset is challenging, if not impossible, without a structure for governing information. Also, legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires the safeguarding and protection of patient information, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires the disclosure of financial and accounting information, can be a compliance nightmare for those organizations that do not manage their information. As we know, information can be easily created, captured, accessed or disseminated with the technologies that are available. However, technology alone does not ensure that information is safeguarded and used efficiently or effectively; processes and people are also needed.

Information governance is a business function with a set of policies, procedures, processes and administration of the data and information within an organization. Well-governed information assets ensure the organization's data is available, accurate, auditable, explainable and safeguarded. The challenge common to most organizations is having the discipline to enact an information governance program when they don't understand it or they don't know how to begin.

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