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IT Leaders: Game-Changers for Governance, Security

February 11, 2014
David F. Katz

Reprinted with permission from Baseline 

A key frustration of CIOs and IT managers is the inability to articulate risk to the organization's senior managers and corporate decision-makers who may not have the technical background to fully appreciate the scope and breadth of weaknesses in their own data environments. Often, company decision-makers rely on IT leaders to set budgets, recommend operational solutions and generally “keep the lights on” without fully understanding the complexities surrounding any given project.

When a project is critical to the business, however, these IT leaders face tremendous pressure to deliver results to management.

Even more challenging is when a crisis occurs, and questions surface about what happened and how it occurred. In these situations, IT leaders often find themselves explaining complex problems to an unsympathetic audience.

The ability to uncover and correct weaknesses in a data environment may be less about what resources are available to the IT department and more about the willingness of the business to truly embrace good data governance. The fact is, poor data governance is generally not the result of some single breakdown attributable only to the IT department. Rather, it is often a failure of the business to support specific risk-mitigation measures and initiatives—both inside and outside of IT—that create an environment in which positive data governance can flourish.

Simply having a program on paper is not sufficient. There must be a strong commitment across the organization to support and enforce the program, and to educate employees on the importance of managing the company’s data.

In 2014, IT leaders must establish themselves as leaders in their organizations and work diligently to align all employees to achieve effective data governance.

Company management and IT leadership should consider the following elements to create an environment that's favorable for good data governance.

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