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Electronic Records Management: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

Information Deluge and Poor Practices Are Overloading Servers, Hampering eDiscovery and Putting Organizations at Greater Risk of Litigation and Fines, According to AIIM Survey

SILVER SPRING, MD -- (Marketwire) -- 03/20/13 -- Although electronic recordkeeping has become a must, many organizations are still taking a haphazard approach, according to the latest AIIM survey on information governance. Senior management seems to be ignoring the risks; in fact, 31 percent of responding organizations report that poor electronic recordkeeping is causing problems with regulators, auditors and courts.

AIIM is particularly concerned that despite good intentions, the delete button is not being pressed for electronic records once they reach their allocated retention dates. This not only increases discovery risks but also does nothing to reduce storage volumes into the future. Results of the survey suggest that for a third of organizations, 90 percent of their IT spend adds no new value to the business. For more than a quarter of respondents, the response to their information deluge is to "buy more disks."

Despite many high profile court cases, the filing systems for email are still chaotic in many organizations. In the News International phone-hacking case in London last year, multiple criminal prosecutions resulted from email evidence that was ordered to be deleted many times, with policy being made up on the fly. Nearly a third of respondents in the AIIM survey admit the probability of multiple copies of emails on desktops, laptops and mobile devices, and 12 percent still do not have an email archiving policy. Even where companies do have email records policies, they generally rely on manual methods for selection and tagging. However, the use of auto-classification techniques is growing and this is likely to improve search and discovery. It will also help set appropriate retention schedules, which in turn will reduce content storage volumes in the future.

Introducing the report at the AIIM Conference in New Orleans, John Mancini, president of AIIM, said, "Many organizations lack enterprise-wide information governance policies and even those that have them often don't train their staff and don't enforce the policy. This is causing a double whammy. Their only hope of keeping a lid on storage volumes is to set and implement rigid retention periods for their content. Not doing so also exposes them to increased risk in the courts. The longer they put off getting started on this, the longer it's going to be before six- and eight-year retention periods begin to kick in. Executives need to wake up to this ticking time bomb."

Other key findings in the AIIM report include:

  • Progress toward the "paperless office" is slow. For 42 percent of organizations, the volume of paper records is still increasing.

  • The content may be electronic but the eDiscovery mechanisms are still manual. More than half of companies still rely on manual searches for eDiscovery across file shares, email and physical records.

  • Cloud service providers for records management still have a big hurdle to overcome on security and reliability for most respondents, but 23 percent might be more inclined to trust their existing paper records outsourcer or box store.

  • Less than 15 percent of organizations are including social postings in their records management regime, even though a third of those who do keep records have used them to resolve staff issues or customer disputes.

  • Forty-five percent of organizations plan to increase their records management spend over the next two years. Automated classification in particular is set for strong growth.

The full report, "Information Governance -- records, risks and retention in the litigation age," can be downloaded from the AIIM website at www.aiim.org/research. The research was underwritten by ASG, Axceler, HP Autonomy, Iron Mountain, Nuix, Recall, RSD, SAP and StoredIQ.

About AIIM
AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for 70 years. The association's mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.

About ASG
A recognized innovator in enterprise IT and business software solutions, ASG Software Solutions has been optimizing 85 percent of the world's most complex IT organizations for over 25 years. We create and deploy unique software solutions that reduce cost, mitigate risk and improve service delivery throughout the IT lifecycle. ASG's comprehensive solutions help you solve today's challenges while driving your business forward. http://www.asg.com

About Axceler
Axceler liberates collaboration to spark innovation. We help companies soar to new heights in innovation by providing the safety net that makes collaboration powerful, safe, and productive. Through visibility and control, we mitigate the organizational risks that come with collaborative platforms and free employees from constraints on creativity, speed, and cooperation. www.axceler.com

About HP Autonomy
HP Autonomy is a global leader in software that processes human information, or unstructured data, including social media, email, video, audio, text, and web pages. Autonomy's ability to extract meaning in real time from all forms of information, regardless of format, is a powerful tool for companies seeking to get the most out of their data. Autonomy eDiscovery, content management, data protection and information governance solutions enable customers to mitigate risk and gain business insight.

About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated provides information management services that help organizations lower the costs, risks and inefficiencies of managing their physical and digital data. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain manages billions of information assets, including backup and archival data, electronic records, document imaging, business records, secure shredding, and more, worldwide. www.ironmountain.com.

About Nuix
Nuix is a worldwide provider of information management technologies, including eDiscovery, electronic investigation and information governance software. Nuix customers include the world's leading advisory firms, litigation support providers, enterprises, government departments, law enforcement agencies, and all of the world's major corporate regulatory bodies. www.nuix.com.

About Recall
As a global leader in Information Management, Recall provides the services you need throughout the life cycle of your sensitive information. From physical to electronic records and information, Recall provides businesses with more than secure information management -- we provide peace of mind. www.recall.com.

About RSD
RSD is the leading provider of information governance solutions for the enterprise. RSD helps companies reduce operating costs and risk exposure through robust information governance programs, spanning multiple jurisdictions and decades-long lifecycles. Founded in 1973 in Geneva, RSD has offices in New York, Boston, Geneva, Paris, London, Madrid, Singapore and Sydney. www.rsd.com.

About SAP
As a market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device -- SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 232,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. www.sap.com.

About StoredIQ
StoredIQ, an IBM Company, enables organizations to gain visibility and control over Big Data and rapidly connect people to business-critical information. With StoredIQ, companies can identify, analyze, and act on unstructured data -- where it lives -- to meet their data intelligence, eDiscovery, and information governance requirements. www.storediq.com.

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