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IBM Intros Consulting Service

IBM announced a first-of-its-kind consulting service designed to measure the way businesses govern data

ARMONK, N.Y. -- IBM today announced a first-of-its-kind consulting service designed to measure the way businesses govern data --such as sensitive customer information or financial details -- across an organization. IBM consultants evaluate the gaps between current company-wide practices and the client's desired position to identify opportunities and specific activities for improving the way data is governed, valued and protected.

As more companies do business online, it becomes difficult to manage and control the mountains of data that reside within different parts of the organization. It also becomes hard for businesses to measure the value of their data, and calculate the risks around data loss. As a result, many businesses protect all information in the same way. For instance, a bank might over-protect low quality data, and under-protect high value information like customer account details or employee social security numbers. Data governance addresses this need, providing processes to help companies govern their critical data, by assessing value, measuring risk and mitigating security and operational exposures associated with access to data.

The new service, called the IBM Data Governance Maturity Model Assessment, measures the data governance competency of organizations based on 11 disciplines of data governance maturity, such as organizational awareness, data quality, risk management, metadata and auditing and reporting. IBM consultants provide recommendations based on the company's unique stage of data governance in order to match the needs of the businesses, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.

"Often times companies don't know how to examine their data governance practices, which teams should be involved, and what kind of structure it takes to govern effectively," said Chris Deger, Risk Data Governance Program Manager, at Wachovia, a Data Governance Council member. "There is an industry need for services, like the one announced today, to help companies be more pro-active and gain insight on where important information resides within their company so they can govern its use appropriately."

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

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