Gartner: Address economy, compliance with information governance, MDM

IT leaders need to get information governance right if MDM is to help cut costs, stoke productivity and mitigate risk, according to Gartner on the eve of the MDM summit.

Gartner will urge IT leaders to pay more attention to information governance as the European economy worsens and corporate organisations face tougher regulations and data leaks, at its MDM summit in London this week.

“The European economic situation is more degraded now than a year ago,” said Gartner analyst Ted Friedman, in a preconference briefing with “Clients are looking to drive even greater business efficiency and optimise costs and mitigate risks better.”

Friedman said that master data management can help organisations take out cost and promote productivity “so that they can weather through turbulent times.” Moreover, “data that is not governed well creates risk for the enterprise, and that is particularly true of master data.”

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There is, he said, a growing convergence between information risk management and governance. However, “in most organisations the people thinking deeply about data and governance are a different crowd to those thinking about security and access rights. Those need to come together a bit more.”

The analyst firm is, he said, putting the stress on information rather than data because the latter typically refers to structured data, but governance needs to apply to all types. Data is still used more in client enquiries, but that is changing.

In a press statement released ahead of the conference, the firm predicted that “by 2016, 20% of CIOs in regulated industries will lose their jobs for failing to implement the discipline of information governance successfully.”

“Twenty percent seems like a high number, but we are trying to get CIOs’ attention. This has happened already,” Friedman said.

According to Gartner, addressing information governance is the only way to comply with existing and forthcoming regulations.

“Responsibility for it lies with the CIO and the chief legal officer,” Gartner analyst Debra Logan said in the preconference statement. “When organizations suffer high-profile data losses, especially involving violations of the privacy of citizens or consumers, they suffer serious reputational damage and often incur fines or other sanctions. IT leaders will have to take at least part of the blame for these incidents.”

 by 2016, 20% of CIOs in regulated industries will lose their jobs for failing to implement the discipline of information governance successfully.


The firm stated that it expects a 2012 rise in value of the MDM software market by 21% to $1.9 billion over last year.

Friedman said the significance of this was that “data and information are finally getting their due. The recognition that information has to be managed as an asset, just like people, plant and intellectual property is driving the growth in software and services.”

New information management roles have emerged in the last two or so years, and that trend will continue, he said. Chief data officers, data scientists, information architects and other new business-side information roles will challenge the hegemony of IT, but might also help heal the perennial divide between business and IT. “Those IT leaders that recognise how to leverage and govern information better will help close the gap.”

Big data analytics will also drive the need for better information governance, he said. For there are, he said, “risks in big data. Some of it comes from outside the enterprise, from Twitter, Facebook and so on and is suspect. We’ll need better practices to govern it.”

The firm remains pessimistic about the percentage of organisations whose MDM programmes will demonstrate the value of information governance: 33% by 2016, meaning two-thirds will not.

Friedman said conceiving of MDM as only a technology project, over-broad scoping, and not being interdisciplinary enough are among the common causes of enduring failure. But “those who get the roles and structures right will succeed.”


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