With a drumbeat that harks back to what "lean" once held for manufacturers, the word "governance" has landed toward the top of agendas of large businesses across every industry. In updated lingo, data and information governance are already being translated to reflect a new kind of risk management sweeping into Global 2000 management suites with gravitas you'd expect of global warming.

Though the structure and mechanisms of governance remain unclear to many, the underlying stakes are not, since information quality and timeliness are increasingly linked to competitive advantage and the realities of a tighter regulatory environment. But if we define governance as the processes, policies, roles and controls that support the creation of information as an asset, more likely we'll find it's people more than technologies that fulfill its existence.

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