Information Governance Repeating the Same Mistakes

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of recently is observing the rise of Information Governance. It is eating all the bandwidth that Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Information Management, and Records Management have historically consumed. All the same players are involved; each trying to make a name for themselves.

As I participated in today’s #InfoChat, I quickly realized that the exact same chat could have taken place 10 years ago. Just substitute #ECM for #InfoGov and it would fit. There were no “new” ideas presented, just slight twists on the same concepts that have been pushed for the last 20 years.

We get it. Success requires “People, Process, and Technology.” How about telling us how those factors should behave and work together? What new technology might help smooth processes to make people’s live easier?


Yes, metadata is important. Do you know something else? People hate filling metadata out. Beyond a title and a couple clearly important fields, they won’t touch it. If they don’t think it will help them find it, they don’t want to do it. You can’t force them. If you try, they’ll bypass your system.

How well will your beautiful metadata standard work when the information isn’t even in the system?

The industry has to take everything that has been tried up until now and file it under “What Not To Do” and move on to something else.

If it hasn’t worked by now, it isn’t going to work. You will never “train” everyone that would need training for the old ways to work. We have to try things differently or in 10 years some upstart from Silicon Valley will have eaten the existing industry for lunch.

Actually, that is a pretty good idea.

If you are one of those upstarts and want to know what not to do as we figure out a new way to solve the problem, give me a call. I’m available.

[Note: I’ve shared ideas on this blog and twitter. They may not be the right ones, but the are new.]

8 thoughts on “Information Governance Repeating the Same Mistakes

  1. Stop trying to train everybody and just build this stuff in. Nobody who doesn’t care about governance already is ever going to care. The term will be off the radar in a year (it’s already drifting away). _It is_ the same old story (you’re right) and most people don’t want to hear it.


    • You are right about the term, but the problem remains.

      We still have to solve the problem and we are no closer now than we were 10 years ago. We need to do something.


      • Solution providers need to build intuitive features into their systems and practitioners need to stop sounding like records managers. Education isn’t going to work. You might as well try to educate people about Constraints and Foreign keys in SQL.


  2. Randy Moeller says:

    Unfortunately, IG is the latest noise by most consultants and vendors to market the same products and offerings as before. Catch phrases are easier to change then what they’ve been doing for 10+ years. Not a lot of difference in companies as change is often a repackaging of what and how things are done. Real change is helplessly slow. There’s a lot of folks still figuring out the cloud.

    But all is not lost in companies as there are always islands of change. It can take a while for the islands to influence others but what works, will spread. For vendors and their systems, it may take a start up to really shake up enterprise offerings where IG is baked in along with more modular choices of what your company needs vs. the big giant package.


  3. Jacques Nack Ngue says:

    What I have seen so far, Information Governance software/solutions leveraging more automated processes using machine learning and artificial intelligence, and relying less on user discipline to log, classify and annotate data. Consider this: Could the mandate of InfoGov be to build a framework that support decisions made today about the data, while developing policies that will adapt to ways we will create, store, manage and dispose of information in the future? The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is not training more people to act like robots to diligently input metadata, it is to improve their perception of information as a malleable organism that can affect both private and public property rights.


Comments are closed.