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Blog Post

February 10, 2017

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In-house Legal Departments can be your ally in Information Governance

By John Desborough

In-house Legal Departments can be your ally in Information Governance

Many of the issues that Information Governance (IG) projects aim to address – legacy data remediation, streamlining e-discovery, compliant retention, defensible legal hold – ultimately impact the legal department of many organizations. To help in-house legal teams achieve quick wins for IG projects, consider these practical steps:

1. Get the facts: Know where the organization's data resides, the rules and obligations that apply to it. To prioritize remediation, start data mapping in areas of the business that may face litigation. Work with your key stakeholders to determine where the data sits, how they are used and where it is flowing.

2. Get sponsorship: IG crosses stakeholder domains and requires collaboration across departments. Legal is well positioned to partner with CIO, COO, and others to fund and action IG policies

3. Align policies and standards: Review the organization-wide policies and standards - this is an important step. This includes records management, information security, data protection, back-up policies and legal holds. Address your information obligations holistically with clear roles and responsibilities.

4. Align with enterprise-wide processes: Incorporate IG policies and practices into other enterprise-wide processes. For example, work with IT optimization programmes to ensure that retention, privacy, security and litigation requirements are addressed holistically.

5. Build a roadmap: To avoid being overwhelmed by IG, define the scope and make an action plan that is realistic within the organization's culture and technology resources. This will help to ensure that initiatives can be rolled out effectively.

Don't wait too long to start. Costs and risks associated with Information Governance grow exponentially. Don't try to achieve perfection out of the starting blocks - get started and take measured steps towards your goal.

 

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John Desborough is a Director, Consulting and Technology Solutions at MNP. He is an accomplished business solutions program manager and business transformation architect with 30+ years in the information and technology consulting domain. John has extensive background in information management and governance with both public and private sector clients on a global scale. Drop John a line to discuss this topic in more detail: john.desborough@ahundredanswers.com