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Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies by Robert F. Williams, Robert F. Smallwood

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CHAPTER 2

Information Governance

The Crucial First Step

Information governance (IG) is a sort of “super discipline” that has emerged as a result of new and tightened legislation governing businesses, and the recognition that multiple overlapping disciplines were needed to address today's information management challenges in an increasingly regulated and litigated business environment.1

IG includes key concepts from corporate governance, records management, content management, IT and data governance, information security, data privacy, risk management, litigation readiness, regulatory compliance, and even business intelligence. This also means that it includes related technology and discipline subcategories such as document management, enterprise search, knowledge management, business continuity, and disaster recovery.

Practicing good IG is the essential foundation for building a legally defensible records management program; it provides the basis for consistent, reliable methods for managing documents and records. Having trusted and reliable records, reports, and databases allow managers to make key decisions with more confidence.2 And accessing that information and business intelligence in a timely fashion can yield a long–term sustainable competitive advantage, creating more agile enterprises.

To do this, organizations must standardize and systematize their handling of information, and most especially their formal business records. They must analyze and optimize how information ...

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