Electronic documents are insidious because they are so easy to create. Computers have not yet brought us the Paperless Office of Tomorrow. But they have brought us plenty of paperless documents. No need to send them to the printer. No need even to type them. A few keystrokes of cut and paste and — voila! — repurposed text becomes a brand new document.
It may convey a brilliant new idea that disrupts business as usual in the best way. Or it may get lost in the database, forgotten except for its contribution to wasted storage space and slower database query responses. Or an electronic document may linger, long after it could lawfully have been deleted, only to surface in an eDiscovery proceeding and trigger its own flood of needless headaches.
The above quote is taken from an Iron Mountain blog entitled, Electronic Document Management: Taming the Virtual Flood.” Every one creates electronic content and some people even create electronic records. A records management program has to look beyond the scope of traditional records and also create a framework for managing content created electronically that is non-record to reduce risk of indictment. With great power and comes great responsibility and that includes the power of creating information for business purposes. Information governance with electronic documents must be built open the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Silly). If our policies are cumbersome and take more work to apply then it does to create the document then no one will follow them. Automate as much as possible and use big buckets so that searching for retention does not become a labryinth of unending rabbit holes. A culture of accountability with scheduled audits of information assets is the only way to ensure success for information governance.