A Few Important Steps on the Path to Better Data Governance

Properly archived data is essential for effective data governance

Let’s talk data governance here – and let’s start with a definition of the term. According to the Data Governance Institute, data governance “brings together cross-functional teams to make interdependent rules or to resolve issues or to provide services to data stakeholders.”

Implementing a data governance policy for your archived data starts with regulatory requirements, according to Nicola Askham, a data governance coach in the UK.

“From the outset, look at leveraging the regulatory requirement as your driver but don’t limit the scope of the initiative to just doing the bare minimum,” Askham writes in her paper The 9 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make When Implementing Data Governance. “Think about how you can satisfy the regulation and get some business benefit, too. If you adopt the principle of good data governance, then you should be able to comply with anything they come up with, and it will just become a by-product of what you’re already doing.”

Take these considerations into account when striving for better data governance of your email archive:

  1. Construct sturdy chains of custody. Encryption and tamper-resistant chains of custody are essential for ensuring the security of your archived email. An effective chain of custody requires vigilance among users, and strategies to safeguard against attack and to remediate and restore systems.
  2. Recognize the difference between backup and archive. Contrary to popular belief, email backup is not a data governance tool; it’s a disaster-recovery or business-continuity tool. Backup is all about saving the data and, if necessary, pulling it up in full. Archiving enables you to use the stored data very specifically, such as doing queries within and across the assets.
  3. Facilitate direct access. Data’s value is enhanced – and productivity increased – when authorized users have direct access to retrieve and share via mail servers, the web, and mobile devices – in a way that doesn’t destroy the original data or its context. Search capabilities must be lightning fast.
  4. Emphasize coordination. Proper data governance can’t be strictly an IT concern. It’s essential to work with core business owners on how to define the content, its structure, process, accuracy and much more. Organizations often make a big mistake in not putting enough emphasis on that coordination.
  5. Keep it in the cloud. Maintaining an on-premises archiving solution can be very costly for a number of reasons – the cost of paying for increasing storage on an annual basis, updating the software, and new and improved hardware to run the software. With a cloud-based solution, you can turn over all your worries, and your solution can scale seamlessly as necessary.


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Margot Carmichael Lester

by Margot Carmichael Lester

Mimecast Contributing Writer

Posted Aug 09, 2017

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