Morgan Templar, #InfoGov18 Speaker Interview Series

We’re pleased to bring you a series of interviews with some of the presenters at The Information Governance Conference 2018. The Information Governance Conference is the only conference designed from the ground up to help you strategically protect and extract value from your organization’s information. The Conference, going into its’ fifth year, brings together the top leaders in the emerging field of Information Governance. Learn more at

We had the honor of interviewing one of those top leaders in Information Governance: Morgan Templar, CEO, Get Governed LLC.


morgan templarIGGuru: Hi Morgan, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today!

Morgan Templar (MT): You’re very welcome.

IGGuru: Why do you think you were chosen to discuss Information Governance at The Information Governance Conference 2018?

MT: I have a people-centered perspective on how implementing and maintaining a data governance program affects culture and collaboration.

IGGuru: Information Governance covers so much, what topic or domain do you feel is underutilized in organizations?

MT: I think there are two big underutilized areas – Change Management for people and enforcing standard data terminology across domains. Organizations would benefit from focusing on both of these more than they currently are.

IGGuru: We keep seeing Information breaches, what do you think would help reduce them?

MT: We need to begin educating people more clearly on the many ways that information is accidentally phished. The other is to be much more clear about what information is protected and what is not protected in every situation. What I mean by that is that one department or function will be highly regulated about a certain data element and another is not. It creates accidental data breaches. Let me give you an example, in health care, a doctor’s Social Security number is optional for credentialing. This is regulated. A doctor can choose to refuse to provide it if they have provided an alternate number. However, for contracting, a Tax ID is required. Solo practitioners (those doctors who are not part of groups) often use their Social Security Number (SSN) as their Tax ID. In contracting, it would then be required for a provider to supply the SSN. Contracting teams often distribute their information to many areas of the insurance company. When the SSN is “public” within the intranet, but “private” in credentialing, it means that people have access to this sensitive information that may not need it for their business. It’s important to have standard policies, but also to educate everyone on the sensitive nature of this number.

IGGuru: Standardization seems like it should be at the forefront of each of these. What do you think will be required skills for Information Governance professionals in the coming decade?

MT: Understanding of end-to-end data flows and business processes. Process and system mapping will be critical skills. Architectural fundamentals will be critical. Communication skills to effect change and get stakeholder buy-in. We cannot remain as introverted analysts.

IGGuru: How did you end up in the Information Governance space? I always find these stories and paths interesting.

MT: I have been practicing governance for decades before the term was coined. I have been consolidating and modernizing processes to make them simpler, more transparent, and digital since 1999. I recognized good governance practices when I saw them and sought to emulate them. Several years ago I worked for Dell Services and I spent some time as an advisor at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Their governance was more formal than most, and I experienced first hand the pain and advantages. A few years later I was asked to pilot the business implementation of establishing an enterprise governance program at Blue Shield of California. After writing the steward’s charter and getting the domains engaged, I realized that there were no easy resources to help people establish a data governance program. I felt like I was making up each step as I went. This prompted me to write my best-selling book, “Get Governed: Building World Class Data Governance Programs” in 2017.

IGGuru: Do you have any career regrets?

MT: I wish that information governance would have been more organized before now. It is not a skill-set for analysts only, it’s a leadership skill-set. Most of the content and conferences have been at the analyst level. My “peers” to get things done were often at the VP or Sr. Director level, because they are the decision makers. But job titles in data governance have been at the Sr. Manager level and below. Leadership roles were unheard of until the past 5 – 8 years. Chief Data Officers are still rare and there isn’t a clear pathway to get there.

IGGuru: What is your most recommended book on the subject?

MT: Obviously my book, it’s a pretty complete and easy to follow ‘how to’ on setting up a program, “Get Governed: Building World Class Data Governance Programs.” For the more advanced practitioners: “Infonomics” by Douglas B. Laney (Gartner) to learn to value governance.

IGGuru: Name one speaker that really changed the way you think about information governance.

MT: Rod Mathews from Barracuda. We spoke together on a panel about cybersecurity and information governance in the age of encryption and ephemeral communication. He really gave me things to think about regarding what it means when everyone in the company carries the Network in their pocket via their phones. And we had an excellent conversation about whether or not those kinds of communications need to be governed.

IGGuru: How has the shift to Information Governance benefitted your client’s organizations?

MT: I think it is still happening very slowly. Until the valuation of governance becomes common practice, it won’t get legs.

IGGuru: What are you most excited about in the upcoming schedule for The Information Governance Conference 2018?

MT: I hope to hear different perspectives than the “usual cast of characters” at some of the conferences.

IGGuru: That’s what they’re pretty well known for. Morgan, thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed today. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Providence at the Information Governance Conference 2018!


Morgan Templar is the CEO of Get Governed LLC and author of “Get Governed: Building World Class Data Governance Programs”. She is one of the presenters at The Information Governance Conference 2018 learn more or register at


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