Industry Insights - How Do You Achieve Corporate Buy-in For Information Governance Programs?

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 16, 2020 3:22:43 PM / by John Bald

Buy in

Buy-in for any type of program or solution in an enterprise organization is challenging and needs to start at the executive level. All kinds of business solutions are constantly being pitched to these high level decision makers in order to gain their attention. Information governance is one of those solutions.

When we posed this question to our industry experts, the general consensus was that whatever solution you are presenting to an organization, in order to get corporate buy-in the executives want it to do one of these three things:

  • Increase revenue
  • Reduce costs
  • Mitigate risk

Our experts have proven use cases that a strong information governance program, in combination with a clear strategic roadmap, can have a very positive effect on all three of these areas and provide value across the entire organization. 

The foundation of a successful information governance strategy relies very heavily on one thing, understanding what data the organization has. This is easier said than done, and time and time again this brings us to our first challenge.

Most enterprise scale organizations don’t know what up to 80% of their data is, what information it contains, and why they even have it in the first place.

dark server


Some of these files may actually be valid business records that need to be managed. There may be valuable information in this data that is not being utilized, leading to missed opportunities and potential revenue

Chances are that the majority of these files are ROT(Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial). Files that no longer have, or never did have any business value, resulting in unnecessary storage costs. Learn more about ROT

The existence of ROT adversely affects search results, taking users longer to find what they need, when they need it, which in turn leads to higher operational costs. This might not seem like a big concern for organizations but one of our experts, looking for buy-in, performed a time motion analysis for an organization to find that users spent 200 extra hours a year looking for content. To put this in perspective, if an average knowledge worker earns $30 per hour, and a large enterprise has 500 users in the roll, that works out to $3,000,000 a year in wasted time.

Workers, on average, spend 36 percent of their day looking for and consolidating information. But 44 percent of the time, they can't find the information. - CMS Wire read more...

Worst case scenario of all, these files may contain sensitive information that is exposing the organization to a high level of risk. However, it is sometimes difficult to get executives to understand the potential risk associated with this unstructured data and take comfort in the fact that their huge ECM investment has ensured that all of their critical data is under governance and safe. No matter how many data management and governance statistics that you quote, they don’t think it applies to them. It usually takes a lost lawsuit or failed regulatory compliance audit to get executive buy-in for an information governance program. When a third party begins performing eDiscovery searches on this unknown data and they end up finding files that violate any number of industry specific or privacy compliance regulations it could end up costing millions of dollars in fines and penalties.


Some of our experts have been truly shocked at what they have discovered in large organizations’ unmanaged data.

View the experts bios and videosShocked2

How can any organization not want to know what type of unknown risks that their data contains?

According to our experts and our own experiences, you don't want to get too deep in explaining how you use all the modern technologies like AI and machine learning to govern their information, unless they ask. You need to convince the decision makers that by investing in a strategic information governance program you will set everyone up for success. Employees will spend less time just searching for the information they need and spend more time performing tasks that drive revenue. The organization will realize reduced costs associated with data storage and day to day operational inefficiencies. The ever looming threat of risk will be mitigated by getting rid of all the data threats and putting all the sensitive and potentially liable data under management.

It's not an easy sell...........but it is worth buying.


To find out what the Shinydocs strategy is for information governance, please contact us at:

Topics: Enterprise, Records Management, Dark Data, ROT, Obsolete, Risk Management, Information Governance

John Bald

Written by John Bald

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