Keeping with the theme of highlighting conversations from Microsoft #SPC14, one significant question that comes up a lot is that of how organizations can empower end users while ensuring adherence to governance policies.
This is a great question… one that we have discussed with conference participants, as well as our partners AvePoint and Kodak Alaris. From my perspective, tackling the challenge of governance is a difficult balance of art and science. Typically, an organization is trying to achieve multiple goals:
- Increase effectiveness and efficiency in day-to-day activities
- Drive innovation through collaboration and improved access to people and information
- Increase collaboration by generating excitement and boosting adoption
- Protect their interests and competitive advantage through compliance and appropriate governance policies
I think it’s time to reframe the conversation. Governance is typically associated with rules and regulations. To most people, that means restricting what they can and cannot do – often perceived as a negative. We need to build a strong association between governance and confidence.
Confidence is that elusive state that drives adoption and collaboration. If I am confident in the people I interact with, the information and insights that I have access to, and the boundaries I am operating in, I will feel safe in the environment. I will feel confident – a confidence that drives adoption, use, productivity, and innovation. That positive governance environment is what we want to create and work within.
Once we’ve changed the way we talk about governance to reflect how, when done well, it empowers people and organizations to be successful – it’s time to discuss how to manage compliance.
Without compliance, governance becomes a worthless exercise, producing the inevitable big, bound manual that sits on a shelf. Adherence to governance policies must become second nature – operating behind the curtain without in-your-face barriers. To me, this means education and automation through such tools as AvePoint’s DocAve Governance Automation and Compliance Guardian.
The keys to governance success: widespread buy-in to the policies that protect the organization and drive user confidence – all in an automated fashion. That is the balance of art and science!