Press Release

New Economist Intelligence Unit Survey Reveals Information Governance Gap Among Global Corporations

EMC®-sponsored Research Report Urges Remedy for Organizations Lacking Formal Policies Governing How Business Information is Controlled, Accessed and Used; Report Highlights Significant Business Benefits for Organizations that Have Implemented Information Governance Initiatives.

HOPKINTON, MASS, October 23, 2008 - 

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced the release of a new EMC®-sponsored research paper by the Economist Intelligence Unit that urges organizations’ senior leadership to accelerate implementation of companywide information governance programs that can help increase the strategic value of information throughout its lifecycle, while minimizing costs and risks.

Available immediately on, The Future of Enterprise Information Governance is an EMC-sponsored survey and briefing paper compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), spotlighting the strategic importance of managing vital corporate information assets, and the formal policies and processes that define how information is to be controlled, shared and leveraged among employees and stakeholders.

The briefing paper is based on an EIU research survey of senior executives from leading companies around the world about the benefits, challenges and risks associated with developing an enterprise-wide information governance strategy. Seventy-seven percent of respondents expect information governance to be important to their company’s success through 2011, while 68% also expect the complexity of their company’s information governance issues will grow during that same time period. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents indicated their companies had no formal information governance program in place, a concerning trend that may leave many corporations unprepared for new compliance mandates and open to preventable risks to sensitive information.

“Even though the standards for good governance are rising, we find that much of today's focus around corporate governance leaves information out of the discussion,” said Frank Hauck, EMC Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Customer Quality. “Carefully managing the relentlessly growing volume of information carries both risk and opportunity for the enterprise. At EMC we believe that senior corporate leaders need to be active stewards of their companies' information and should know as much about their information assets as their CFO knows about their company's financial assets. Implementing a companywide information governance initiative is one of the most valuable moves corporate leaders can make to create and enforce policies that help ensure information quality, compliance, and protection while increasing its business value.”

“As firms large and small begin to think more strategically about how information is used and conveyed, creating a standard set of policies and procedures for governing information protection, use and distribution inside and outside the firm will be extremely important,” said Debra D’Agostino, Deputy Director in the Americas, Industry and Management Research, at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The 2008 EIU research survey includes responses from senior business executives from leading companies, almost half with annual revenues more than US$1 billion and headquartered in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Survey results revealed key differences between the 62% of respondents that do not have formal information governance programs and the 38% of respondents that do:

  • For firms without a governance strategy, the risks may be significant. Only 51% of respondents at companies that do not have a formal information governance strategy rate their firms' overall ability to protect sensitive data as good or very good compared with 85% for those whose companies have a formal strategy.
  • 40% of overall respondents say their firm does not regularly review and revise information backup and retention policies.
  • Only 43% of respondents rate their firms' ability to integrate and share information across departments and necessary third parties as good or very good; 21% say that it is poor or very poor.
  • 92% of respondents at firms with information governance strategies rate their company's ability to provide access to critical business information when it is needed as good or very good, compared with only 57% of companies that do not have governance in place.
  • 57% of respondents admit they do not have a single view of the customer.
  • 81% of firms with information governance programs report that "information can be better shared between departments, allowing for better decision-making."

Information Governance Best Practices

Enterprise information has typically been siloed around lines of business or specific business applications but when properly integrated, can benefit the rest of the organization. To effectively leverage and share that information across the enterprise while managing the associated costs and risks, EMC recommends implementing enterprise-wide information governance programs. The most effective programs engage key leadership and information stakeholders across the organization to gain their input and to help prepare the organization for change. Both EMC and the authors of the EIU briefing paper advocate that executive sponsorship across lines of business can also help to ensure key business drivers such as cost management, security, and business value as core metrics in measuring program success. The most successful programs take an incremental approach and don't attempt sweeping changes all at once. These programs should define master information standards along with the policies, privileges, and responsibilities of information owners and users in order to ensure required levels of quality and risk management.

"Good information governance can help companies solve a fundamental challenge within their organizations – how to balance the costs, risks and value of information assets across the enterprise,” said Chuck Hollis, EMC Global Marketing CTO. “As the EIU research indicates, implementing an information governance program can result in companies seeing improved operations and cost control, increased visibility of information flows across the enterprise and an overall better organizational preparedness for meeting compliance mandates. The senior leadership at corporations worldwide should make this a key business priority.”

EIU Briefing Paper Availability

The Future of Enterprise Information Governance is an Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper sponsored by EMC. The paper is available for free download at:

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at

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