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When it comes to true information governance, most executives are still in the dark.

Could fear inspire executives to take notice of information governance?

| Corporate insights

Fear is a great motivator in business. It can inspire executives to spend their precious time looking at risk more closely, or perhaps putting a little extra thought into that next strategy. But fear is also the mind killer, sometimes causing executive paralysis and influencing them to stay with the status quo when innovation is a possibility.

Data centre traffic around the world will grow from 3.4 zettabytes, as it was in 2014, to 10.4 zettabytes by 2019.

And yet, with the right motivation, fear could be the one thing that makes executives wake up and see that so much of their business revolves around information, and that they're not managing it at all.

Maintaining the status quo in this respect is a poor choice, especially considering the amount of information that needs managing is growing by the day. Cisco recently predicted that data centre traffic around the world will grow from 3.4 zettabytes, as it was in 2014, to 10.4 zettabytes by 2019.

To put that tripling effect into some form of context, one zettabyte is a staggering one-trillion gigabytes – or enough to fill around 15,625,000,000 of the largest iPhones.

With so much of this data entering a business, it will be those who manage information well, identify the types they need and act on the insights who will find the biggest benefits, not those who refuse to adapt.

So, how can fear work in executives' favour?

Fear can motivate discovery, though that information needs to be readily available.Fear can lead to discovery, though the information needs to be readily available.

Working with fear

As we say, fear can work wonders for motivation. In terms of driving executive success, utilising fear can lead to risk-management improvements in:

  • Business continuity
  • Security
  • Discovery
  • Compliance

When we consider that at its very core, risk management is the use of information to identify hurdles and prepare for them down the line, the value of information management becomes easier to understand. If executives have the right data and knowledge on hand, they can improve:

  • Business continuity: Knowing which information should be retained and for how long
  • Security: Having the governance around information that keeps knowledge within the company
  • Discovery: For example, if you are initiating or defending litigation, acquiring another entity or being acquired, from a legal perspective, you need to find accurate data quickly.
  • Compliance: If you cannot find the information that proves your organisation works within the law, there could be serious consequences

When fear leads to improved management of information to reduce risk, it is a perfect motivator.

Being afraid

Executives are right to be afraid. For too long they've been neglecting one of only four business assets they have available to run their business. Information Assets have the value to mitigate risks and fears throughout the business, and should be managed in the same way financial, human and physical resources are.

With information governance, they can improve their compliance and remove some of the other hair-raising risks they might face. In the quickly evolving digital world, it really is imperative.

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