Information Governance Initiative Publishes Industry’s Most Comprehensive Research Report

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Think Tank’s 2015-2016 Report Shows Rapid Growth in IG Market and the Emergence of the Chief Information Governance Officer

IGI 2015-2016 Annual Report

Information Governance Initiative Annual Report 2015-2016

The fact that more and more organizations are hiring senior information governance leaders and investing in these programs is not surprising given the cybersecurity disasters we have seen in 2015

The Information Governance Initiative (IGI), the leading information governance think tank and community, today released their 2015-2016 Annual Report. This is the second year the organization has published the industry’s most comprehensive research on information governance as a concept, profession, and market. The report is based on extensive surveying of information governance practitioners and providers. Highlights from the report include:

1) The IG Market Emerges. More IG professionals think there is a defined IG market, and that a category of “IG software” is emerging. IG professionals are doing work they consider IG; buying and selling products and services they call IG; appointing IG leaders; and identifying and executing on their organizational IG priorities.

2) The CIGO Takes Charge. The majority agrees that the Chief Information Governance Officer role is essential to IG success. The IGI’s advocacy for this role is starting to bear fruit, as the need for strong, senior, accountable IG leadership is increasingly acknowledged and acted upon. Of course, most organizations do not have a CIGO (yet), but the number of organizations designating senior IG leaders is significant and up from 2014.

3) Taking Action and Spending Money. Most organizations taking action on IG have multiple IG projects in flight, and they are spending significant money to get them done. For example, large organizations have, on average, 7 projects that each cost over $750,000 and small organizations have 4 projects that cost $186,000 each.

4) IG Spending and Revenue is Growing. Organizations doing IG predict that their IG spend will grow in 2016, and grow a lot, with nearly half expecting spending increases of 30% or more. Nearly all IG providers project IG revenue growth, with the majority projecting 20% growth or more, and over a third projecting growth of 30% or more.

5) Key IG Concepts are Solidifying. Our most popular and widely-used infographic from last year’s Report was the “pin wheel” or “flower” that showed the information disciplines that together comprise IG. This picture remained remarkably unchanged this year, with only minor shifts in how IG professionals ranked each area. This suggests that a fixed picture of IG is at last emerging, and bodes well for the ongoing professionalization of IG.

6) A Security Focus for IG. Across the board in our analysis we see strong evidence that security-focused activities are becoming a greater priority for IG professionals – reflecting not only an expected response to recent high-profile security breaches, but also a movement to integrate security into the larger IG whole.

7) Strong Alignment Between Practitioners and Providers. Providers of IG products and services seem to have a clear picture of what IG practitioners want, what they are working on, and what they need. Remarkably, we see almost perfect alignment between the two groups in identifying the IG projects practitioners would do if they could, as well as the IG projects they are actually doing. This alignment is a sign of a healthy market that is starting to use a common language to describe both problems and solutions.

8) “Quick Wins” Are Not So Quick. Most practitioners report a staggering delay between the time they decide to undertake an IG project and the time it actually begins. Most report that it takes a year or more just to get started. This is too long and reflects the relative immaturity of IG decision-making, budgeting, and leadership. The good news is that each of these areas is improving, and we expect to see project start (and completion) times shorten in 2016.

9) Economic Quantification is Important – To A Point. About two-thirds of IG practitioners told us that quantifying the economic impact of IG (using models like ROI and TCO) is important. However, only about one-third said they actually use such models to build support for their programs internally. At the same time, providers told us that in nearly all instances they are required to provide such calculations as part of the sales process. This suggests that many IG projects suffer from the same mix of politics, institutional inertia, and other human factors that bedevil all enterprise-focused projects.

10) The Biggest IG Barrier is Education, Not Money. The top barrier to IG progress is not a lack of money but rather a set of factors including a lack of institutional education, communication, and leadership. The good news is that each of the top barriers identified by our community can be addressed without huge hard costs, enabling IG practitioners to make significant progress even without significant budgets.

11) Value Creation Gains Traction. While IG clearly has its roots in risk-focused disciplines and activities, value-focused activities take a higher profile this year than last, which we see as further evidence that as IG matures and foundational problems are solved, paths to value creation open up. At the same time, the most common drivers for IG are event-driven (e.g., litigation, system migrations), suggesting that IG practitioners must continue to be intelligently opportunistic.

12) Most IG Programs are Nascent but Progressing. Most organizations surveyed are taking some kind of action on IG, even if it is limited to addressing event-driven problems (in fact, most providers see their customers as mostly reactive in their IG projects). Most practitioners rate their IG programs as “nascent” or “intermediate” on a maturity scale, but tend to be more or less mature in each of the five specific variables that we measured.

“The fact that more and more organizations are hiring senior information governance leaders and investing in these programs is not surprising given the cybersecurity disasters we have seen in 2015,” said Barclay T. Blair founder and executive director of the IGI. “Today’s cybersecurity problems are rooted in yesterday’s failure to take the governance of information seriously. IG is the foundation of cybersecurity and privacy protection and also enables organizations to realize value from their information in an ethical and legally defensible manner.”

The IGI’s Annual Report was provided to all attendees at the IGI’s annual national conference, InfoGovCon 2015, that took place September 29-October 1 at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The Annual Report will be available for download in the Reports section of the IGI Community with other valuable reports and its infographics available for complimentary download under a Creative Commons license.

About the Information Governance Initiative

The Information Governance Initiative is a cross-disciplinary consortium and think tank dedicated to advancing the adoption of information governance practices and technologies through research, publishing, advocacy, and peer-to-peer networking. Join us at

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Maribel Rivera
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