The IG ‘Cascade’

Our approach at BigRed is to devise and help implement information governance solutions that are ‘pragmatic’ – by that we mean fit for purpose: in line with the size, complexity and purpose of the business.

Over the last few years, many large organisations (and by ‘large’ we mean multi-million dollar corporates with typically thousands of employees) have been able to spend considerable time and effort building comprehensive information governance programmes. Initially driven by risk reduction and the need for compliance with industry and government regulations, these programmes have become increasingly robust and sophisticated. Of course, such large corporates are able to commit significant resources to such efforts, with employees dedicated to the task and key accountabilities assigned.

What we are now seeing is what we call the ‘IG Cascade’ – the larger organisations are now reaching out to their key suppliers and business partners to assess their IG capabilities. The intention is to minimise risk to the organisation by ensuring that anyone working with them, particularly if they process information on behalf of the Company, have their own house in order. All very commendable, but quite often we see much smaller supplier organisations being assessed to the same standard as the large corporate’s own IG programme. In many cases this can be complete overkill as the size, complexity and risk profile of the supplier does not warrant the same sort of control measures. Also, if the language used in the assessments is not familiar to the audited organisation, unclear responses arise and there is a real risk of audit failures, creating further work and stress.

We’re firmly committed to ensuring programmes are practical and relevant, whilst of course ensuring regulations and compliance requirements are addressed. Audit failures are not the ideal start point for an IG programme; better to be prepared in advance and to take it as an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage.

For us at BigRed, IG has to be pragmatic to be successful. Please contact us to find out more.