Data Governance: Moving out of IT

You are here:

Data Governance: Moving out of IT

The field of data governance has experienced an operational shift in recent years. Data governance teams are breaking free from the confines of IT departments and finding a new home within the business itself. This migration represents awareness from a strategic business perspective on the value and challenges of data governance programs.

The Move

The move of data governance teams out of IT is not a mere relocation; it’s a strategic shift reflecting a changing perspective on the role of data governance within an organization. Data and technology are not the same thing. Data teams are finding new homes within functions like data offices, analytics, risk management, privacy, and even entirely different areas of the business. This depends on the organization, politics, culture, and strategic initiatives. This transition impacts the overall operating model, leading to debates over the merits of centralized, federated, or hybrid approaches. As data governance teams mature, one of the biggest challenges is still corporate data enablement and culture shift. “Moving out of IT” has given leverage for many data teams to focus on change management, data education, and business use cases throughout their organizations.

The Benefits of Moving Out 

Many members of the DataQG community believe moving data governance into the line of business enables a more direct alignment with business objectives and processes. Recognizing that data is a critical enabler, this shift ensures that data governance practices are built into the fabric of daily business operations.

Executive Engagement:
Placing data governance in the business domain provides visibility and a “seat at the table” with executives. This strategic positioning allows data governance teams to contribute to decision-making processes actively, ensuring that data is not only managed but leveraged to drive business success.

Improved Communication:
Breaking away from the IT silo fosters better communication between data governance teams and business units. This improved communication is vital for ensuring that data governance policies are not only understood but embraced by those who rely on data in their day-to-day activities.

Cultural Growth and Enablement:
The move to the business facilitates cultural growth and enables a shift towards a data-driven culture. By being embedded within the business, data governance teams can actively promote a culture of data stewardship and responsibility at all levels of the organization.

Agility and Business Priority Alignment:
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages is the newfound agility in responding to changing business priorities. By residing within the business, data governance teams can quickly adapt their strategies to align with shifting business landscapes, ensuring continued relevance and effectiveness.

The Benefits of Staying Put

While the benefits of “moving out” are compelling, there are also advantages to keeping the data governance team within IT.

Alignment from IT Infrastructure:
Remaining within IT ensures a natural alignment with IT infrastructure, making it easier to integrate data governance practices with existing technological frameworks.

Budget for Tooling and Solutions:
Staying within IT often means having a dedicated budget for tools and solutions. This autonomy allows IT to implement tools without the need for extensive collaboration with business units, streamlining the implementation process.

The Debate Continues

The placement of the data governance team is a topic of ongoing debate within organizations. While some benefits are derived from staying within IT, the momentum is undeniably shifting towards embedding data governance within the business. This move allows for increased agility, better alignment with business goals, and a cultural transformation that positions data as a strategic asset rather than a technological byproduct. As organizations navigate this transition, the ultimate goal is to strike a balance that leverages the strengths of both IT and business perspectives, ensuring effective and sustainable data governance practices.