|[February 17, 2014]
Survey: Gaps in Accountability, Commitment and Practice Threaten Records and Information Management Compliance
BOSTON --(Business Wire)--
While many organizations claim to have strong records and information
management (RIM) programs in place, a look behind-the-scenes reveals
many lack fundamental building blocks, like measurement and employee
engagement and training. Those gaps keep organizations from realizing
RIM program cost savings and leave them vulnerable to information
exposure and fines from non-compliance with customer, industry or
federal regulations and standards. These and other findings are at the
heart of a comprehensive benchmark survey published jointly today by Iron
Mountain Incorporated (NYSE:IRM), the storage and information
management company; Cohasset
Associates, a consulting firm specializing in document-based
information management; AIIM,
a global non-profit organization that provides independent research,
education and certification programs to information professionals; and ARMA,
a not-for-profit professional association and an authority on
Information can be a competitive advantage or an Achilles heel of risk
and cost. With records continuing to grow in both volume and format,
from paper records to electronic records like emails and social media
data, the challenges to managing all of it have never been greater. More
than 1,300 records and information professionals responded to this joint
survey, providing a wide-ranging assessment of the practice of RIM and a
benchmark for organizations to measure themselves against.
As evidenced by the data points below, a majority of organizations (87
percent) have a RIM governance program in place but are missing those
key pieces that define a measurable, effective program. To help close
the gaps, Iron Mountain (News - Alert) has identified several opportunities for records
managers to improve their programs and advance their organization:
How effective is your RIM program?
Only 17 percent of respondents say they have the ability to conduct
internal audits and assess regulatory compliance for their programs.
Just 8 percent have metrics in place to measure effectiveness and
guide program improvemnt.
Opportunities: Know which customer, industry or regulatory
requirements you need to report on. Have a strategy to ensure compliance
and monitoring at all levels of the organization. If you store records
off-site with a vendor, communicate your standards and that your
measurement requirements. And report on those metrics and standards
regularly so you're ready for an external audit by a customer or
Are employees aware and engaged in your RIM
Only 7 percent of respondents report that their employees - the
largest group of records-makers and keepers - are engaged and
supportive of their programs.
Just 28 percent of organizations have RIM programs reporting into
their compliance and legal departments.
Opportunities: To drive better engagement, set up regular
training and other easy-to-access employee touch-points. Engage with
partners in human resources or corporate communications to create
awareness and leverage low-tech tools like flyers and posters with short
but compelling RIM educational content, graphics or tips.
Are you maximizing efficiency in your RIM
processes and policies?
Only 8 percent of organizations have an automated process for
identifying destruction-eligible records, increasing the possibility
of loss from inadvertent exposure or theft.
Three-quarters (75 percent) say this lack of automation is one of the
biggest hurdles to an efficient and defensible retention/destruction
program, while 64 percent cite an inability to break the "keep
everything" culture of their organization.
Opportunities: Consider using automated tools to either fully
classify records or provide user assistance to identify record types and
assign them to the right retention schedule. If you store records
off-site with a vendor, leverage those tools to calculate destruction
eligibility and act on it, making sure to connect retention rules with
what is being stored.
"This survey shows that organizations remain committed to making records
and information management a priority, but some important gaps still
remain," said Sue Trombley, managing director of thought leadership for
Iron Mountain. "Information management, when done right, can push your
business ahead and be a strategic lever for success. But until you
achieve buy-in at all levels of the organization, master fundamentals
like timely destruction, and implement a system to monitor program
effectiveness, the sought-after benefits will remain elusive. You will
also have to transition away from paper-based processes to manage the
complexities of electronic records. Mature, well-run RIM programs have
all of these things, plus the ability to adapt as information grows and
changes. Organizations that embrace new thinking and adopt proven
practices will be able to elevate their records and information programs
and realize what we deem an 'information advantage.' "
For further insight from Iron Mountain's Sue Trombley on the report,
read her Information
Advantage blog post discussing the survey results. And to see the
full survey report, as well as more proven practices, market insights
and research on records and information management, visit www.ironmountain.com/thoughtleadership.
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE:IRM) is a leading provider of storage
and information management services. The company's real estate network
of over 64 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36
countries allows it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its
solutions for records
management, and secure
shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with
regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for
business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects
billions of information assets, including business documents, backup
tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit www.ironmountain.com
for more information.
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