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Information governance – beyond the buzz

Juerg Hagmann (itopia ag, Zurich, Switzerland)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 25 November 2013




This paper aims to discuss the still immature concept of information governance (IG) from a records and information management (RIM) perspective and attempts to identify some critical aspects, essential elements and challenges, drawing on lessons learned from corporate experience in a global setup.


After a critical consideration of the notion “information governance” the paper reports some issues which turned out to be major barriers to success during IG implementation within a given organisation.


Practical experience highlights the importance of carefully scoping IG frameworks in larger organisations; in particular, balancing the representation of all relevant stakeholders (especially lines of business) and targeting investment in initiatives that foster an information management culture. Equally critical to success is corporate communication which truly values information as a corporate asset and highlights the importance of information lifecycle management rather than technology under the motto “putting the ‘I’ into IT”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper draws on experience from a single case study to discuss some of the cultural factors that influence the design and implementation of IG in general. However, more empirical research is needed in order to broaden the understanding of the impact of IG programmes in real-world organisations.

Practical implications

When implementing IG programmes in global organisations it should not be limited to an IT perspective alone. The biggest challenge is the fact that no department or discipline alone can achieve the desired results. Success is only possible in an orchestrated scenario with clear value propositions for specific business functions.


Based on a small selection of professional literature on the IG approach, the paper presents findings about issues and pitfalls when setting up and implementing an IG programme. It is hoped that it will inspire more exploratory research of this kind from members of the records management community to encourage them to raise the need for IG in their own organisations.



Hagmann, J. (2013), "Information governance – beyond the buzz", Records Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 228-240.



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