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For passing the buck, there's nothing quite like information governance. It's an IT space in which everyone gets to blame everyone else and no one has to take responsibility for errors. The heart of the problem, Gartner says, is that it is difficult to measure and locate accountability and responsibility. 

But this traditional view of governance is changing. As organizations digitize their customer relationships, the way information is synchronized and shared with trading partners is becoming a core business responsibility. 

And these three vendors excel.

Agility and Big Data

This is being facilitated by the rise of agile, cloud-based approaches to information governance by smaller vendors. These newbies can not only manage data, but also integrate new internal and external big data sources into the information governance paradigm.

In fact, according to Gartner’s recently published Cool Vendors in Information Governance and MDM, 2014 (paid), not only will smaller, more agile vendors begin to make their mark, they will also become essential to fully support information governance and Master Data Management (MDM) goals.

In business, MDM consists of all the processes, governance, policies, standards and tools that consistently define and manage the critical data of an organization to provide a single point of reference.

These new vendors will play the key role of filling out the gaps in big data integration and management, which is quickly becoming one of the core concerns for all those involved in the management of data.

Agility is core here, prompting Gartner to recommend that enterprises look to cloud vendors that can automate the discovery, classification and disposition of unstructured data.

Information Governance To 2017

This is a growing business, and one that will be linked with the use of big data sets across the enterprise for the foreseeable future. According to this report, by 2017, 35 percent of all information governance and MDM software sales will be made on the vendor's ability to link structured master data with big data sources.

This new business has been built on the back of a massive growth in new types of data, as well as increasingly stringent regulatory regimes and concerns over privacy and the risks to information.

Gartner points out that the real value of information cannot be fully realized unless the information itself can be trusted, and it cannot be trusted unless it is properly governed.

On top of this, because the governance of information requires input from so many different elements in the enterprise, it also requires the use of multiple products and vendors and will continue do so for the foreseeable future.

Gartner adds that organizations are now beginning to realize that governance is not just about putting files in the right place, but about the management of the entire lifecycle of information.

However, there are a number of different, specialized vendors that are starting to emerge to support the principal three key areas around information governance:

  • Integration of large internal and external datasets;
  • Automating the discovery and classification of unstructured data; and 
  • Providing data as a service to a front end or user facing process without changing or manipulating the underlying data stores.

3 Cool Information Governance Vendors

One  thing that is striking about this report is that Gartner considers only three vendors "cool." This possibly reflects the complexity and difficulty of meeting market demands.

It may also reflect the fact that many organizations are only starting to take information governance seriously, with the emergence of big data sets and the clear role of information in providing excellent customer experiences.

That said, the three vendors are as follows:


Acaveo keeps unruly, unstructured content in control across applications as diverse as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Office 365 and Box data stores. It does this by providing reporting and visualization of the metadata to enable organizations to