Before 2013, use of the term “Information Governance” or “IG” was generally limited to narrow technical circles; however, a new focus on the secure and appropriate management of information —seen especially in the context of the Snowden affair — has led to renewed interest in the field.
But despite the additional publicity and widespread discussion, the concept of IG is still in the throes of definition and understanding. Gartner, a premier information advisory company, suggests that IG is the “specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to ensure appropriate behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archiving and deletion of information. It includes the processes, roles and policies, standards and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.” The Association for Information Management posits that IG represents, in part, a maturation of roles traditionally played by “libraries and librarians” where “practitioners in all aspects of information management” are involved in decisions related to the strategic, as opposed to tactical, enterprise-wide approach to the governance of the organization’s information. Finally, AIIM, the Global Community of Information Professionals, indicates that IG represents “policies that can be applied across the enterprise,” dictating “investment [into] records and information management systems.”