ARMA’s IG Maturity Index results from last year are in, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many respondents’ IG programs saw a decline in their IG maturity score in 2020. Read on to learn more about the IG Maturity Index, and how Zasio can help with a number of key metrics that respondents struggled with last year.
What is the IG Maturity Index?
The IG Maturity Index is based on surveys of organizations of various sizes and types, taken over a three-month period at the end of 2020. The survey gauges IG maturity across the following seven key areas from the Information Governance Implementation Model (IGIM): Infrastructure, Authorities, Supports, Steering Committee, Structures, Capabilities, and Processes. It asks IG professionals to rate their organization’s performance in each area from 1 to 5, with a rating of 1 representing “Non-existent or Sub-standard,” and 5 being “Transformational.” Anything less than a rating of 3 (“Essential,”) is considered deficient, or needing work. An important note about the 7 IGIM categories – there is a large amount of overlap among them so an organization’s score in one category is likely to affect its score across numerous other categories.
Benefits of the IG Maturity Index
The index can help organizations by capturing a data-driven, point-in-time measurement to evaluate and track your IG program on a year-to-year basis. It also provides a reference point to compare your organization’s annual IG growth. The index will eventually allow organizations to compare themselves to other industry-specific benchmarks. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the survey demonstrates where an organization is falling short and gives it a defined way forward with investible plans for action. In other words, instead of speculating about how your IG program is doing, the IG Maturity Index provides distinct and actionable areas of focus. This, in turn, can be leveraged to management for additional resources and focus towards improving your organization’s IG program.
How can Zasio Help?
As mentioned, overall trends in IG maturity declined in 2020, which is perhaps understandable given the circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic. In particular, the number of organizations rating themselves as Level 5: Transformational, or Level 4: Proactive, showed a significant decrease in their score for the Authorities, Processes, Capabilities, and Infrastructure categories. Zasio is well-equipped to help in these categories. Below, you’ll get a brief look into how Zasio can provide help in each area to boost your organization’s overall Index score.
Authorities: Level 4 and 5 responses down from 40% in 2019 to 33.4% in 2020
This category refers to your organization’s compliance with relevant authorities, or the “guide rails” that help your IG program run, and whether these guide rails are universally understood within your organization. It’s important to note here – authorities are always changing, which can make consistently achieving a high-level score in this category difficult. Zasio’s Legal Research and Consulting divisions can help you stay abreast of changes in authoritative frameworks, regulations, and privacy requirements. Our research library has expanded to over 140 countries and 130,000+ citations, and we perform regular re-checks of all jurisdictions. Our Consulting division can discuss standards and best practices, applying their wealth of experience from working with similarly-situated organizations, as well as offering insights for achieving compliance with complex laws like China’s archive orders, the EU’s GDPR, and California’s CCPA/CPRA.
Processes: Level 2 responses up from 28% in 2019 to 36.5% in 2020, and Level 5 responses down by 5%
The Processes within the IGIM framework include the metrics, policies, rules, and procedures that an organization has in place to support its IG program. It’s important to note that your company’s Processes are very likely to be shaped by a thorough understanding of the relevant authorities mentioned above. Amongst the ways that Zasio can help here, beyond records retention schedules, we can help your organization ensure there are clearly defined rules for your employees through policies and procedures, offering insights on implementing best practices, RIM training, and auditing strategies. In addition, Zasio is uniquely positioned to provide benchmarks and best practices in nearly all industries based on our more than three decades of experience assisting clients.
Infrastructure: Level 5 ratings down from 9.1% in 2019 to 5.6% in 2020
Capabilities: 72% meeting the essentials (rating of 3 and above) in 2019, down to 66% in 2020
Infrastructure is the ability of your organization’s information systems to do what you need them to do and includes software, networks and connectivity, and information security. Capabilities are what is in place to guide information through your organization throughout the information lifecycle, ensuring protection and privacy throughout. Like so many of the IGIM categories, Infrastructure and Capabilities are closely related. The applications and software you choose as part of your Infrastructure, will also largely define your Capabilities. Zasio’s records management and retention software covers all areas of the Information Lifecycle by allowing you to categorize records for storage, including electronic records, while maintaining your ability to search and use these records for business purposes. Zasio software also includes tools for protecting against early deletion, appropriate treatment of private records, setting retention periods, and providing alerts when it’s time for disposition.
The interconnected pieces that make up an IG program can be complicated to figure out. This blog article is just the beginning! Fortunately, assessments like the ARMA IG Maturity Index, can break up the components, and provide actionable feedback. Organizations of all types and sizes can benefit from taking this year’s survey, as the first step towards strengthening your IG program is knowing where it stands. Also, check out Zasio’s Assessments & Evaluations, which we’ve developed as a comprehensive evaluation methodology to assess both program quality and effectiveness. You can also find the latest full IG Maturity Index Report here, and for a more comprehensive understanding of it, please see this year’s presentation of the results here.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general education on Information Governance topics. The statements are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the application of the law to your business activities, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel.