Insights / Research Report / The Strategic and Evolving Role of Data Governance
August 14, 2023

The Strategic and Evolving Role of Data Governance

Christophe Bertrand
Practice Director

Market Topics

Data Protection

Research Objectives

For organizations well along on the path of their digital transformation journey, sound data governance practices are playing a strategic role. As the amount of data and value of that data to the business continue to increase, so too does the importance of managing its availability, usability, integrity, and security. Data governance is a loosely applied term in the data management space. As ecosystems evolve and become more distributed, end-users are struggling to connect the dots between the important elements of data governance like data classification, data indexing, data placement, e-discovery, and compliance.

In order to understand the benefits and challenges of data governance initiatives, establish the current state of deployments, identify gaps, and highlight future expectations, TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) surveyed 376 IT and business decision makers currently responsible for the governance technologies, processes, and programs used to manage their organizations’ data.

This study sought to answer the following questions:

  • What is the approximate total volume of data organizations have stored on their corporate servers and storage systems? What is the approximate volume of unstructured data?
  • At approximately what rate do organizations believe their total volume of data is growing annually? What technology features/capabilities do organizations use to manage overall data growth?
  • What percentage of organizations’ total data contains personally identifiable information (PII) or other sensitive data?
  • In terms of data repositories, how distributed is the total volume of data for the average organization? How does this change, if at all, for PII and other sensitive information?
  • For approximately how long have organizations had their data governance practices in place?
  • How have stakeholder roles and levels of corporate involvement for organizations’ data governance initiatives evolved over the last two years?
  • Have organizations implemented or considered implementing a data governance team?
  • What are the areas of greatest concern for organizations when it comes to potential non-compliance with data governance managed regulations?
  • What is the biggest challenge for organizations when it comes to implementing and managing data governance initiatives?
  • Generally speaking, how has the use of public cloud services impacted organizations’ abilities to manage and execute data governance programs, processes, and procedures? Specifically, what SaaS application types present the biggest challenges to organizations in terms of implementing or extending data governance practices?
  • Do organizations currently leverage any data classification tools or processes? For those that do, is data indexing and classification done at the metadata or content level?
  • What are the most significant business drivers underlying organizations’ data governance programs?
  • Have organizations experienced a cybersecurity incident that impacted their ability to meet/adhere to data governance requirements in the last 12 months?

Survey participants represented a wide range of industries including manufacturing, technology, financial services, and retail/wholesale. For more details, please see the Research Methodology and Respondent Demographics sections of this report.


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