Wrangling the Digital Data Monster

Lora Bentley

Information management is certainly front of mind these days. Last week I wrote about a survey from the Compliance Governance and Oversight Council, which found that though 98 percent of the executives who responded say that "rigorous discovery and defensible disposal" are the goal of information governance, only 13 percent of respondents are capable of disposing of data today.

 

PSS Systems CEO Deidre Paknad told me the problem centers on the failure of all the stakeholders to take responsibility for designing policy and implementing a process for enforcement. She said:

We asked, "Is the records management organization responsible for defining and managing the disposal of data and information?" Sixty percent of the records management respondents said yes. Sixty percent of the IT respondents said no, it's not records management's job. Even in the same company. That suggests to us a lack of clarity in responsibilities.

 

Monday, I learned of survey results from the Association of Information and Image Management (AIIM) that further illustrate the scope of the problem. Fifty-seven percent of senior managers have become more aware of the business risks created by poor information management, thanks to things like the BP oil spill, the Toyota recalls and other corporate disasters. However, AIIM President John Mancini points out:

A third of organizations still have no systems in place to manage and record their electronic documents, and even those that do are struggling with their policies on e-mails.

If the great majority that are behind in the information management game don't take advantage of the tools and the reference models that are available now, the problem is only going to get worse. Exponentially worse. The amount of digital data is expected to grow by a factor of 44 over the next nine years, according to IDC.



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