We hear a lot about data governance as it’s increasingly important in today’s data driven world. We hear little mention though, of Digital Governance, but it may be even more important. In fact, it may be where a business of any size needs to start. Especially if your business is working on becoming digitally mature or considering a digital transformation.
What is Digital Governance?
It is what any organization that collects any type of data, has Information Technology, delivers digital services and/or products needs. So pretty much all companies and non-profits.
Digital Governance encompasses all aspects of the business and deals with how you govern and manage all aspects of the company from the Board of Directors and Executive through to employees and contract workers and even your supply chain. Digital governance covers;
- Board of Directors policies, risk management and protection of directors from litigation and fines.
- How the executive manages risk when it comes to cybersecurity, IT security and digital strategies and data management as well as privacy laws compliance.
- Employee security around corporate documents and processes, social media and IT policies and protection from litigation
- Mitigation of litigation risks from a data breach
- Oversight on privacy policies and data governance.
- Business continuity planning
Reducing Data Breach Exposure
Under current privacy laws in Canada, any organisation that suffers a data breach and fails to report it to the federal Privacy Commissioner within 6 months can be fined up to $100,000. This includes Board Directors and senior executives.
In addition to the potential fines, there is the recovery costs from a breach; rebuilding customer trust, negative media coverage, stock performance impacts (if you’re public), lost revenues, recovery of data and IT systems and of course, litigation by those impacted. This can cost even a small business between $500,000 to $1.5 Million. If you have good digital governance in place however, the risk of litigation and fines are significantly reduced because you can show you’ve taken steps.
Aside from risk management and litigation, good digital governance provides a solid framework from which to build out your digital transformation strategy, set corporate policies for employees, create greater board awareness of digital risks and issues and ensure IT is considered in corporate strategy and governance.