July 2019 Newsletter – Information Governance and Retention Management

Jul 1, 2019 | Blog, Newsletters

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Information Governance and Retention Management

We live in an era of exploding information. Every organization today, regardless of size or sector of business must strike a balance between the risks of having unmanaged information and the opportunity to lever that information. Organizations that kind find that balance can achieve significant cost savings, minimize legal and business threats and create optional processes aimed at using information for business value.

Digital Data

The sheer volume of information is a disrupter.  Digital data is expected to grow to 44 Zettabytes by the year 2020 and it’s expected to double every two years after that.

There are always new sources of content. Today we are challenged with new types of content such as chats, instant messages, text messages, social media, email and VoIP. These diversified types of content are often listed as chaotic and are less likely to be managed.  How do you collect this information?

Email for many organizations is often considered “chaotic” in their governance. For example, there are many variations of Search, Hold and Retain. Some have a fixed “delete everything” policy after a certain time and others have a “keep everything policy”. The elephant in the room is that organizations still don’t have email under control.

At the same time we addressing new types of content, the reality is paper is still abound. We estimate that over 50% of business documents are still on paper. And let’s not forgot those storage units and warehouses full of storage boxes of records.

Silos of Data

There are silos of data located in multiple content management systems. In fact, 52% of most organizations have three or more records management systems. These systems are mission-critical to daily business transactions. However, silos of data create inefficient search and access. Add to this additional sources of content coming from connected mobile devices, cloud storage and more, creating MORE silos of data. As a result, organizations are not prepared to address compliance issues or Discover requests. This creates high operational costs, inefficient searches and risk compliance violations.

At the same time, there are huge volumes of content in most organizations that are not under any form of information governance, retention management, or e-discovery policy. Retention management and removing redundant, obsolete and trivial content (ROT) and adding new metadata to the remainder, is a huge task that AI Software, content analytics, and automated classification software tools are now capable of off-loading from users.

With the average cost per case of discovery being between $600,000 and 3 million dollars, without these software tools, you would think it is the priority.  Retention management and excessive costs can be mitigated if content is contained within ECM or RM Software.


E-Discovery is one of the biggest drivers to create and enforce IG policies.  Over 60% of the organization’s stated Compliance with legal, audit and regulators rules are their priority while, they also said preventing data losses, privacy breaches and confidentiality issues were their goals.

Litigation processes vary state to state, particularly in the area of pre-disclosure, but in almost any court situation, evidence will be spread across emails and documents that are stored in content systems, records storage locations, and probably file shares too.

The same will apply, perhaps even more so, for inquiries and investigations by regulators. In either case, lawyers need to find what documents and content are available, that are relevant to the case. They will then need to place a hold on those documents so that they cannot be altered or deleted. They will then need to pull them into the “discovery funnel” so that their relevance can be scored and filtered. Sometimes these things need to happen at speed so that senior management can be briefed, and PR damage avoided.  In all cases, the process needs to be consistent and efficient, as lawyers are expensive.

Watch for the August Blog-Part II Information Governance, Risk and Compliance.