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Collecting, analysing and acting on the insight and intelligence contained in today’s data resources has become a business imperative across many sections of the economy. Organisations everywhere are investing heavily in their data strategies to identify new opportunities, innovate and to steal a march on their competitors.

Delivering on the transformational potential of data, however, also brings a responsibility to protect and appropriately use information that may be personal, commercially sensitive or confidential. This has resulted in a significant growth in the emphasis placed on data governance – a vital but often nebulous set of processes, rules and technology tools used by organisations to stay compliant across a growing range of regulations and standards.

In focusing on ‘good governance’, many organisations encounter some critical and very expensive obstacles that seriously limit their ability to deliver either governance or value across their data assets.

The most common scenarios include the many organisations that decide they need to act on data governance, but don’t know where to start. Then there are those who initiate a data governance strategy with the intention of running it in-house, but struggle with expertise, skills shortages and delivering usable outputs.

Others have invested in data governance tools but find they don’t know how to drive business value and outputs, despite spending substantial sums. Another increasingly common problem is seen within those organisations that, despite investment in tools and the governance process, are hampered by unoptimised gaps in their approach. Whatever the situation, the downsides of directing time and resources into data governance strategies that don’t work can cause both short and long term problems.

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Data governance is a complex process with many moving parts, ranging from data quality, master data management and the challenges presented by encryption, to choosing the right technology tools and the enforcement of policies.

The problem is organisations simply can’t do everything at once. Most just don’t have the insight and oversight to establish and maintain good governance, while many others focus on short-term standalone data projects, rather than the benefits of a long-term, holistic strategy.

In order to embrace data governance as a positive route to business improvement and robust regulatory compliance, organisations are looking to the ‘as-a-Service’ model to meet the gaps in data governance capabilities, experience and technologies.

Indeed, the emergence of Data Governance-as-a-Service (DGaaS) is bridging the gap between objectives and results. In doing so, it’s an approach designed to take the risk away from investments and deliver the strategy and proven technologies required to ensure data governance projects succeed.

Across a wide range of use cases, DGaaS can be applied across each major component required to deliver good data governance. This begins with ubiquitous data discovery and classification, using software tools to scan all data wherever it might reside within potentially highly complex data infrastructure. Without this detailed insight, organisations are frequently unable to identify their data assets, if they are mishandling data – and by definition – understand their level of risk.

Next, the process focuses on effective process creation and documentation, enabling organisations to drive their governance objectives through to execution, while removing the operational and expertise requirement overhead and leaving them free to focus on value creation from data. In doing so, organisations the ability to take the raw outputs from the toolsets and turn them into tangible business outputs is the next phase in the evolution of data governance.

As a result, teams can approach the planning, design and delivery of a data governance strategy focused on their core objectives. Instead of hitting implementation roadblocks or experiencing the frustration of failed investments, data governance becomes part of their standard business toolkit, with technology acting as an enabler.

In today’s data-centric economy, organisations are increasingly faced with a big decision: embrace the opportunity effective governance offers to deliver business growth, innovation and compliance, or risk competitive advantage and the penalties imposed by regulators when it falls short.

DGaaS is an approach designed to close the gap between objectives and impact. In common with many other flavours of the ‘as-a-Service’ model, it frees organisations from the resource and technical limitations that cause so many projects to fail. Instead, it allows them to focus on the transformational potential of data while also delivering on compliance.


Explore our flagship offering and how we can help operationalise governance within your organisation:

Michael Queenan

Michael, the Co-founder & CEO of Nephos, has been redefining how organisations approach data strategy, governance and analytics for over a decade. Sharing this expertise, his thought leadership is focused on emerging technologies and their potential impact on businesses. Michael's insights are invaluable for organisations seeking to stay ahead of the curve in the fast-paced world of data management and analytics.

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