Information governance – Nirvana or 1984?

Information governance – Nirvana or 1984?” is the title of the key note paper I will be delivering at the IRMS Conference at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in May this year.

Much to my excitement (and trepidation), my paper has been selected as one of four key note sessions. Here is the synopsis of the paper:

At the heart of Orwell’s 1984 is an information governance (IG) framework, well planned and executed to achieve its goals.

IG is not a good thing in itself. It depends on what motivates it, who sets the agenda for its developmental drivers and who controls it. 1984 is a work of fiction but there are many real world examples where the power of IG has been recognised and hijacked by those in influential economic and political positions for less than altruistic purposes. Equally many well-intentioned IM and IT strategies have been developed in pursuit of an unattainable IG Nirvana –strong on principles but weak on realistic requirements and goals.

IRM practitioners have a key role in the destiny and direction of IG. Using literary anecdotes and real life examples, this session examines this role, and the conflicting challenges and responsibilities it brings with it:

  • the conflict between economic, political, moral and social IG drivers
  • different interpretations of IG within different business and public sector disciplines

It then provides some conclusions on how the IRM community can drive forward an IG agenda whose destination is neither an impossible Nirvana nor a 1984 but is holistic, realistic and achievable.