While data has become an undeniable asset for businesses, it can also be a costly headache when it is not managed in a structured way. The huge amount of human energy needed to navigate this mountain of disparate information can rapidly become counter-productive, while the vast amount of storage space required has an environmental impact, with the electricity consumed by data centres and water used to cool infrastructure.
Data governance is becoming a necessity in order to meet these challenges and build a more responsible relationship with digital technology. When deployed step by step and in total coherence with all business teams, it can become an essential tool for companies looking to adopt a robust and lasting CSR approach.
Governance in several stages to establish a more virtuous relationship with digital technology
While data governance undeniably involves a significant cost, it brings with it many benefits, financially, environmentally and internally, which can help you unite your teams around a more virtuous culture. The cost of data centre storage can rapidly add up for a company, and each byte of data stored consumes electricity (power supply) and water (cooling of rooms, severs, etc.).
One of the first things to be done is to map out and sort data in your possession, in order to keep only what is relevant and actually usable, all governed by a standardised reference system that clearly shows the lifecycle of all data. Reducing the amount of data used in this way, and keeping only what is necessary for processing, will reduce your storage requirements, producing immediate financial and environmental benefits. Holding less, but more relevant data will rationalise storage and the environmental cost.
There are also internal benefits to be had. If your teams find themselves wading through reams of heterogeneous, unclassified and unlabelled data, wasting time and energy, setting up governance can help you create a reliable and harmonised source of data for all. Clearer and more structured management of data, their lifecycle and their purpose for the company will allow your employees to work more efficiently and save energy for more strategic tasks.
Such governance will enable you to create a clearer and more virtuous relationship with digital, based on two pillars: rationalisation of your environmental footprint and creation of a structured work environment to save your teams' energy.