Everywhere I go, I meet companies building Data Governance Boards, assessing their situations, creating strategies, and looking for solutions. Data Governance today is the most prevalent form of Governance below the Board of Directors, and the only form that often brings together IT and Business leaders in one continuous dialog. Three years ago, when we first adopted the title "Data Governance" to describe the pending convergence of Risk Management, Security, Data Quality, ILM, and Compliance, no one understood what the two words put together meant. I often heard "Data What?" in response to my presentations at conferences. Today, however, there is no question that the conjunction of "Data" and "Governance" defines an exciting new marketplace of common challenges, new ideas, and exciting solution opportunities.
But the future of Data Governance depends more on the vitality of the political institutions now being formed. Data is the easy part, it is Governing that is hard. In the coming years, many solution architects and IT consultants will focus on quick Data solutions, and most Governing Boards will flounder without technology support that creates an institutional framework for Governance.
We in the IT industry will focus 80% of our solution sales on tools to govern data, but it is data to help humans govern that is a far more pressing need. In every industry (especially public sector) we need better Governance solutions that help human beings analyze massive amounts of operational information, assess the quality and value of information and use Risk Calculation to forecast options and make decisions.
What are needed are new solutions to help organizations, large and small, govern more efficiently. Our businesses and our governments need these tools, and technology has an important role to play in helping organizations transform from industrial to information models of production and value creation.
Those solutions should help democratize the governance process, create new levels of organizational transparency, help forecast and model potential outcomes, capture and communicate key policy decisions and compare them to results.
Adler on Data Governance
From archive: November 2007 X
DataGovernor 120000GKJR 1,980 Views
This week, I attended the Global Forum 2007 in Venice, Italy. I am member of the Global Forum Steering Committee, and through the Data Governance Council IBM was a sponsor of this year's event. The meeting took place on a private Island off the Grand Canal in Venice. The Island had been home to a monastery, which is now used by the Giorgio Cini Institute for Music and Art. The meeting rooms were spectacular, with scores of Veronese paintings adorning the walls, columned cloisters, and magnificent paneled rooms. Participants included the Mayor of Venice, the former Prime Minister of France, the Chancellor of Geneva, commissioners from the FTC and FCC, presidents of Universities, and 5 members of the IBM Data Governance Council...
This was my third Global Forum event. I chaired a panel on Data Governance, and gave a brief presentation on global competition, innovation, and governance. Both were extremely well received, with many commenting that our panel on Data Governance was the most substantive and interesting of the conference. I owe a special thanks to Ed Keck, Richard Livesly, Cengiz Barlas, Paul Welti, and Jacques Bus for their fantastic presentations. On the evening of the first night of the event we had a private chamber concert at the Venice Opera House, a beautiful gilded Colosseum. Following the concert (Hayden and Tchaikovsky), there was a dinner in a private dinning room with a pianist. It was lovely and inspiring. I dined with the very charming CIO of San Francisco and the Deputy Mayor of Paris.
At the end of each year's Global Forum I am reminded of how very complex and difficult such a conference is to organize. It is not just the fantastic venues or beautiful entertainment and dinner. Most importantly it is the arrangement of all the various interests and specialties that such a global network brings together in one spot for two days. This is no small feat, and I have learned from the event's very special host, Sylvianne Toporkoff, that networking is an art and she is the absolute master.
This year's Global Forum was a triumph. It reached across the international divide and brought more leaders from Asia and the US, business and government, than at any past event I have attended. But what I also saw this year was more transatlantic tension, misunderstanding, and competition than before. For this German/Danish-American, those are troubling trends indeed. They simmer below the surface, and come out in subtle phrases and indirect cuts. But they are there and they threaten many things we all believe in. Next year I hope the Global Forum will take these issues on thematically in because it is only through direct discussion that substantive understanding can be reached. Truth is we need more global forums, as the world is growing ever more competitive.
On November 2nd, I attended a Law School advisory board meeting in Koblenz. The chair of our board is a senior executive of UBS Germany and another board member is the head of M&A for Deutsche Bank. While the topic of international banking was quite far from our subject, we quickly spilled over into discussions about risk, globalization, loss and reputation. The sub-prime credit squeeze is affecting financial institutions worldwide and what I discovered is that the frustration in Europe on this topic runs high, as many feel hostage to economic policy made far from these shores. Economic interdependence is not new. Every day, stock markets rise and fall based on market sentiments in New York, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, and Shanghai. What makes this crisis different is that the debt purchased was well rated by US rating agencies and eagerly acquired by banks across the globe. Today, those debt instruments have few buyers, creating hordes of worthless debt that is being written off balance sheets across the globe, resulting in one of the first global financial crises of the 21st Century.
The recent Fed rate cut seemed to underscore the limits of unilateral action in a global economy. As capital moves with ease across borders so too will, in my opinion, economic policy need to demonstrate more fluid international action. Of course central banks some of these relationships regarding crisis management, but economic policy has a fiscal dimension and G8 summits are too irregular for ongoing stewardship. Consistent economic growth on a global level may require new international governance structures combining central banks and governments so that all levers of policy can be adjusted to better balance money supply, regulatory controls, tax and subsidy without compromising national competition.
Such ideas may threaten isolationist neocons, and may also take more crises to instigate, but we can't say we have a global economy if our policy tools are mostly national. Financial disruptions as witnessed in the past months will continue just as national liquidity and credit crises caused runs and convulsions at the dawn of the 20th century. Those crises resulting in the formation of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a central governance mechanism to control the money supply as a means to steward national economic stability.
We are just beginning to understand the role of Governance in world affairs.[Read More]