Information is every organization’s greatest asset. It makes up intellectual property, trade secrets and many other vital corporate assets. It’s how we in corporate America conduct business. With that said, governing and protecting that information is critical. Therefore, we expect information governance efforts to continue to rise in 2017.

Prediction #1 – Data Breaches will continue to drive Information Governance strategies

According to a Ponemon Institute report sponsored by IBM, the average total cost of a data breach grew from $3.8 million to $4 million. The study also reports that the average cost incurred for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased from $154 to $158. Because of this fact, strategies related to information governance will remain top of mind for senior level executives. Investments in specific data loss prevention controls such as encryption and endpoint security solutions maybe a good place to start.

Prediction #2 – Reliance on Collaboration and EFSS technologies will continue to rise

Today’s workforce is dependent on being able to immediately access information. After all, this is key to productivity. EFSS technologies like OneDrive, Box, DropBox and Google Drive have essentially filled this void. Realizing that there is very little an organization can do to prevent the use of EFSS, the focus will shift to how to govern and protect the content stored in those repositories. In order to achieve this, an organization must first have visibility into the content. Can organizations survive using only one of these EFSS technologies, thereby making one the standard?

Prediction #3 – The Information Governance Leader will continue to mature

By now, the majority of organizations have appointed an individual to lead information governance efforts such as increase awareness, develop policy and collaborate with key stakeholders. Look for organizations to continue to lean on this individual to solve the information conundrum with an increased focus on data privacy and security efforts.

Prediction #4 – Increase need for partnership with trust third party providers

It can be difficult for an organization to keep up with the laws and regulations in connection with their specific industry and at the same time perform day-to-day tasks. As regulatory compliance becomes more complex, reliance on outside service providers and experts will increase.

Prediction #5 – New tools will help companies apply policies and understand data sensitivities

Sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) is stored across the enterprise in multiple repositories. Tools are now available to identify and classify this type of data. Look for more organizations to take advantage of these innovative tools to understand where their most sensitive data is stored. Then take steps to protect it through the application of policy.

What are your information governance predictions for 2017?