Information Governance: Fad or Forever?

Every organization has their own information governance (IG) strategy that includes the processes and technologies they use to manage information.  Elements like records management and retention, information privacy and security, risk management and compliance falls under this umbrella.  Recently, the idea has been challenged by organizations that believe IG is a fad, going out as quickly as it came in, and the new trend is to save everything—forever.

A full-fledged document management strategy covering every aspect of IG doesn’t come without challenges.  Whether it’s specifying user requirements, automating retention procedures or customizing document indexes, the process of developing a solution takes time.  And as trends in technology provide loopholes and ways to avoid IG, organizations are considering what it’d be like to take on a stock-pile approach to information management.

Here are some common arguments:

“We can’t predict what data will have value until well into the future.”

“To reduce the risk of mistakenly disposing important data, we’ll save everything.”

“It’s too expensive and time-consuming to delete large collections of information.”

“There are low-cost, free cloud technologies that make it possible to keep everything.”

Truthfully, these arguments aren’t entirely incorrect.  Depending on the solutions at an organization’s disposal, it’s possible they’re better off saving everything.  However, this line of thinking can quickly land a business in a predicament.  It’s just not practical, efficient or safe to save every copy of a copy, temporary file, blank document or email log, etc.

Here’s why avoiding information management strategies doesn’t work…

First of all, the practice of saving everything does not set a great professional tone.  It actually has very negative affects on company culture.  An environment with no document management system usually has disgruntled employees with very low productivity.  Secondly, data analytics is at an extreme disadvantage without a management strategy.  If every copy and version of a document remains active, accurate data collection is nearly impossible.  Lastly, saving everything in the cloud or on a server increases cost across the board.  It’s reported that on average 40%-70% of data stored is duplicate, so working with a drive in this condition requires more time and resources.

It’s possible to feel confident that your business can operate free of any structure or system, but it’s not practical, efficient or secure.  Every organization, regardless of size, needs their own approach to IG including all the policies and processes that define information management.   To learn more about a customized, strategy to solve your major information management problems, contact ILM today.

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