Data management brings risk and value to IT, says IBM

Information management is key to the future of IT and business, according to IBM.

IBM Data Governance Council has predicted five key information challenges that will reshape corporate behaviour and the markets ability to trust information.

The Council, made up of 50 global companies, assessed how businesses will handle the growing amount of complex data generated by companies and financial markets over the next four years.

The findings revealed that data governance will become a regulatory requirement and companies will have to demonstrate data governance practices to regulators in regular audits.

The value of data will also be treated as an asset on the balance sheet and reported by the chief financial officer.

Meanwhile, calculating risk will become an information technology function and the role of the Chief Information Officer will change, making the corporate officer responsible for reporting on data quality and risk to boards of directors.

In addition, the fifth key challenge will be that individuals will be required to take more responsibility for recognising problems and participating in the governance process to facilitate greater transparency and the identification of risk.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to data governance," said head of information governance and quality at BMO Financial Group Richard Livesley.

"Every company must configure their own data governance program based on their individual needs. In just a few years, data governance will become a key benchmark as boards of directors recognise their fiduciary responsibility to enhance and protect data."

The Council's findings arrive in conjunction with a cross-industry customer survey also conducted by IBM.

The survey indicated that businesses need to better inventory their information to help reduce risk and derive more value from their business information.

According to the survey, conducted among more than 300 data management professionals from leading Global 5000 companies, risk mitigation and data governance are key drivers of new projects to better track data through the use of metadata.

The survey found that respondents are focused on organising, reusing and sharing corporate knowledge and keeping up with increasing pressures to supply better information to remain competitive.

The survey backs up the IBM Data Governance Council's assessment, which found that both investors and consumers will benefit as data governance emerges as a required discipline for organisations, which will in turn give rise to greater trust, better transparency and reduced risk.