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What’s Blockchain Got to Do With IG?

According to McKinsey, blockchain technology provides “a secure database shared across a network of participants, where up-to-date information is available to all participants at the same time.” Not surprisingly, the ability of blockchain to provide real-time information and authentication has significant positive information governance impacts. These impacts include improved compliance with records retention requirements, better searchability, enhanced records authentication, and superior privacy compliance.

Here are 5 use cases:

Retention: Blockchain technology establishes an immutable ledger where every transaction is securely preserved and recorded. This feature is particularly beneficial in industries like healthcare, where patient records and medical data must be preserved for extended periods. With blockchain, organizations can improve the integrity and block the unauthorized alteration of these critical records, ensuring compliance with retention regulations.

Traceability: Manufacturers must ensure the authenticity and origin of products along their supply chains and need product information to be correct. Failing to do this leads to regulatory liability, lawsuits, lost reputation, and lower profits. Effectively deploying blockchain technology helps manufacturers improve the end-to-end traceability of their supply chain, prevents records tampering, and secures the effective movement of goods to consumers. This not only improves data quality but also ensures adherence to regulatory requirements, ultimately enhancing information governance.

Smart Contracts: The use of smart contracts in information governance automation can reduce the risk of non-compliance with established information governance frameworks. For example, a bank can use smart contracts to automatically enforce data retention policies, ensuring that sensitive financial data is retained and disposed of according to regulations.

Data Retrieval: Blockchain's transparent and decentralized nature simplifies and helps companies find the records and data that they need when they need it. This can be particularly important in the context of a legal or regulatory investigation, but is also valuable on a day-to-day basis, for example, in the case of a government office that needs to respond quickly to freedom of information requests.

Privacy: Blockchain enhances privacy compliance by allowing individuals to exercise greater control over their personal information. For example, a healthcare provider can provide patients with a private key, granting them access to their medical records stored on the blockchain thereby ensuring that only authorized individuals can access and modify the data.

As industries adapt to the ever-evolving data landscape, effectively deploying the right mix of blockchain technology can significantly improve information governance compliance.

Any other ideas?


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