Gartner defines information governance as “the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to ensure appropriate behavior in the valuation, creation, storage, use, archiving and deletion of information. It includes the processes, roles and policies, standards and metrics that ensure the effective and efficient use of information in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.” 

That means that information is kept as long as required by regulations and laws, or internal business needs and risk assessments, then it is discarded according to an established retention and disposition schedule, (unless it is subject to a legal hold). The information that remains has business value and can be leveraged to create new insights that feed into management decisions. 

We ca define Information Governance as “all the activities and technologies that organizations employ to maximize the value of their information while minimizing associated risks and costs.”  

Implementing the right strategy to manage information could not be only an IT issue. Information Governance consists of the overarching polices and processes to optimize and leverage information while keeping it secure and meeting legal and privacy obligations in alignment with stated organizational business objectives.  

IT governance consists of following established frameworks and best practices to gain the most leverage and benefit out of IT investments and support accomplishment of business objectives. 

Data governance consists of the processes, methods, tools, and techniques to ensure that data is of high quality, reliable, and unique (not duplicated), so that downstream uses in reports and databases are more trusted and accurate. Master data management (MDM) tools can assist in this effort. 

Once the definitions of these three information-related governance disciplines are clear, their differences become more distinct.