The systematic management of corporate records has become a core element of compliant, defensible Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Accordingly, the practice of records management has evolved from marginalized afterthought to essential survival tool an organization’s very existence can hinge on its ability to provide timely, accurate responses to compliance, regulatory or discovery obligations. Talk about going from zero to hero in the span of a decade!
Yet it still amazes me that the generations of thought-leadership, technology and best-practices development that have gone into managing the lifecycle of official corporate records is often not being applied to the vast volumes of additional unstructured data organizations now possess. Think about it: It’s the aforementioned traditional business records that have historically been most likely to be targeted in compliance and discovery reporting.
It only makes sense to expand the time-tested, rigorous principles applied to the most scrutinized corner of the business to the enterprise as a whole.
The concept of information archiving is a perfect example. Organizations have become extremely proficient at generating and collecting information. From emails to marketing collateral to financial statements and beyond, it’s growing at staggering rates. But what are many organizations doing with it once it’s served its purpose? In the absence of having a thorough information governance program, they’ve defaulted to dumping it en masse into an archive. Now, they can compress, de-duplicate and encrypt to their heart’s content but, in very short order, they’re going to want to cost-effectively access and retrieve pieces of that information in its original context–something that’s next to impossible unless well-planned information governance policies were in place beforehand.
Chances are the optimal solution could already be roaming your hallways. By bringing your records manager and their knowledge base into the loop and having them collaborate with IT, legal, and compliance on a comprehensive information governance program, your organization can extend pre-existing best practices to all its enterprise information and define classification, retention, preservation, and disposition parameters in an easily accessible, defensible structure.
Optimal InfoGov Adds Value Across an Enterprise
Enterprise Archiving is just one of the areas where this cross-functional collaboration can be hugely beneficial to an organization. In the modern business environment, compliance and legal requirements obviously play a huge role, but effective information management also adds significant value to product development, process improvement, disaster recovery and more. To achieve this, every email, every R&D report, every accounting ledger, every HR commentevery piece of unstructured contentneeds to be subject to the same fastidious processes as the most formal organizational business record.