4.3 Data Governance Perspective

The Governance Perspective of the Reference Architecture Model defines the roles, functions, and processes of the International Data Spaces from a governance and compliance point of view. It thereby defines the requirements to be met by the business ecosystem to achieve secure and reliable corporate interoperability. This chapter provides an overview of how central questions of governance are defined on each layer of the Reference Architecture Model (see section 3). In particular, it describes how the International Data Spaces enables companies to define rules and agreements for compliant collaboration.

While the International Data Spaces enables all participants to act in compliance with negotiated rules and processes, it does not make any restrictions or enforce predefined regulations. The architecture of the International Data Spaces should be seen as a functional framework providing mechanisms that can be customized by the participating organizations according to their individual requirements.

The International Data Spaces supports governance issues by

  • providing an infrastructure for data exchange, corporate interoperability, and the use of new, digital business models;

  • establishing trustworthy relationships between Data Owners, Data Providers, and Data Consumers;

  • acting as a trustee for mediation between participants;

  • facilitating negotiation of agreements and contracts;

  • aiming at transparency and traceability of data exchange and data use;

  • allowing private and public data exchange;

  • taking into account individual requirements of the participants; and

  • offering a decentralized architecture that does not require a central authority.

The Governance Perspective in the context of the IDS-RAM relates to concepts from an organizational and technical point of view to establish the development of a healthy and trustful data ecosystem. It supports collaborative governance mechanisms, so that the common service and value propositions are achieved, while protecting the interests of all actors.

As innovative business models and digital, data-driven services require enhanced data management capabilities, the role of data governance is increasingly receiving attention. Therefore, the management of data related resources by means of decision rights, accountabilities, roles, and ownership makes data governance a fundamental element in the International Data Spaces ecosystem. To manage data under consideration of business needs and the existing digital infrastructure, data governance, being a leadership function of data management, acts as an enabler for successfully engaging in a collaborative ecosystem. It is therefore necessary to establish suitable organizational structures and procedures that determine who makes what kind of decisions concerning data assets, and which responsibilities and accountabilities are associated with these decisions.

In this context, organizations are confronted with new challenges. Innovative, data-driven business solutions often require that data is increasingly used outside of the organization. This development transcends organizational boundaries, as internal data is used externally, and vice versa. At the same time, this creates new forms of collaboration in data ecosystems. Various actors, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, or third-party vendors interact with each other and contribute to fulfilling a common value proposition.

From an internal perspective of one single organization, the execution and allocation of decision rights for the management and use of data manifests itself within organizational structures. They ensure that relevant guidelines and principles regarding data assets are in place and monitored. However, traditional instruments for assigning decision rights and accountabilities in terms of data usually do not reach beyond an organization's borders. Thus, the influence of authority for the individual actor within a data ecosystem might be limited. The IDS-RAM addresses this challenge in a federated manner by distributing decision rights for data governance and management activities to the different roles in the International Data Spaces ecosystem. It thereby supports the requirements to be met by the actors within the ecosystem to achieve secure and reliable interoperability as well as desirable behavior regarding the use of data.

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