Navigating Information Asset Registers (IARs) and Their Impact on Your Organisation
In an age driven by digital transformation, the importance of effectively managing information cannot be overstated, especially for government agencies. In addition to identifying and classifying their information assets, agencies must establish and maintain an Information Asset Register (IAR).
GWI has deep experience supporting our customers to unlock business value through enterprise information management. A key aspect of this is Information Asset Registers (IARs).
This blog post will shed light on how the recent regulation changes might reshape your agency’s information management practices, particularly relating to IARs.
What is an IAR?
The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) defines an information asset as ‘an identifiable collection of data stored in any manner and recognised as having value for the purpose of enabling an agency to perform its business function, thereby satisfying a recognised agency requirement’.
At its core, an IAR is a structured repository that acts as a compass for your agency’s information landscape. It is a critical tool, housing detailed information about an agency’s information assets about an agency’s information assets, regardless of format or location. Think of it as a comprehensive map that guides your agency through the realm of its information.
Key Components of an IAR:
The IAR tracks an asset through its lifecycle from creation, management, use and re-use, to eventual disposal. The QGEA has an IAR guideline to support the development and provide clear guidance about what is required to be included in an IAR. The guideline recommends 11 minimum requirements that fall into the following categories:
- Asset detail information: Each information asset is precisely and uniquely identified, named and described within the IAR. It is also recommended that the acquired/created date and keywords be captured.
- Security classification: Assets are categorised based on their sensitivity and importance, helping to implement appropriate controls.
- Asset management information: Clear ownership and custodianship are assigned to each asset, ensuring accountability for its management.
- Asset constraints: Specify the constraints for access and usage of the information assets along with the rules related to publishing or sharing.
Making sense of the regulations
Regulations, including the QGEA Information Asset Custodianship Policy (IS44) and Records Governance Policy, bring about a paradigm shift in information and management. Alongside the QGEA obligations, the recent Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) Publishing OFFICIAL information assets report places an additional requirement on all agencies. The requirement is one of the report’s nine recommendations and requires all Queensland agencies to publish a redacted version of their IAR identifying all OFFICIAL information assets.
Here’s what these changes mean for your agency:
Enhanced Transparency and Accountability: The regulations underscore the importance of accountability in managing information. An IAR promotes transparency by providing a single source of truth for all information assets.
Regulatory Compliance: The policies set a benchmark for information management standards. Implementing an IAR helps your organisation remain compliant with these standards.
Strategic Risk Management: By meticulously documenting information assets and their associated risks, the IAR empowers your organisation to take proactive measures to appropriately protect its valuable information assets and mitigate potential cyber security threats.
Resource Optimisation: The regulations encourage efficient resource allocation by identifying redundant or obsolete assets, thereby streamlining operations and reducing costs.
Informed Decision-Making: With an IAR in place, your organisation gains a holistic understanding of its information landscape, enabling informed decisions about information protection, access and use, sharing, retention and disposal.
Public Transparency: The Office of the Information Commissioner’s recommendation to publish a redacted version of the IAR adds a layer of public accountability, showcasing your commitment to transparency.
In a data-driven world, where information is both a strategic asset and a potential risk, an IAR is a vital tool for every business and organisation.
When navigating the landscape of regulations, consider the IAR as your ally in achieving efficient, compliant, and accountable information management. GWI can help you embrace the transformation and support your organisation’s information management journey.
How GWI can help
- Creating IARs from scratch if your organisation doesn’t have one.
- Reviewing existing IARs to determine compliance and identify any gaps with the QGEA in preparation for compliance with the OIC report recommendations.
- Determining if the IAR complies with the requirements of the Information Asset Custodianship Policy (IS44) and Records Governance Policy.
- Ensuring compliance with the Office of the Information Commissioner’s report recommendation for agencies to publish a redacted version of their IAR identifying all OFFICIAL information assets.
Talk to the GWI team to learn more about how we can help your organisation continue delivering high-quality customer outcomes and maintain good information management practices.