Businesses are becoming increasingly challenged in implementing successful Information Governance policies and practices. However, the main issue for businesses has become a cultural rather than technological one.
Digital Data Retention
Digital data retention is often treated with a blanket approach. As digital data and cloud storage requirements exponentially grow, so does the cost and the risk. Worse still, this large outlay cost is often for data that has become inaccessible, unmanageable and irrelevant to the business’s needs. In this increasingly untenable situation, cultural change towards IG is desperately needed.
The Need for IG Cultural Change
In a recent webinar on the current IG challenges companies face, Darrell Mervau (President of FileTrail), Mark Parr (CIO at HFW), and Christopher Young (Head of Risk at Pinnacle) discussed the necessity for IG cultural change on a whole company scale and what this journey might look like:
- First and foremost, data management needs to be viewed as a primary business issue and when the costs and risks of data are taken into account this becomes clear.
- Decisive IG policies need to be created at the head of the business. This is often a simpler task in traditional corporate structures than in LLPs with many stakeholders. Involving the Head of Risk, CIO and General Council from the outset, to implement company-wide policies, will be key.
- Listening to the data requirements and responsibilities of different stakeholders will also help in creating a nuanced and democratized data policy, which is workable for the entire business.
- Email is often one of the biggest data storage issues, so policies need to be clear on usage and retention. Having a definitive time limit for email storage is a must.
- One of the biggest barriers to cultural change is truly understanding what the data requirements for your business are. This is why bringing in an IG specialist who can help to create a roadmap to cultural change, based on the business’s contractual need, regulatory requirements, and data usage, is an excellent investment.
- Ultimately the IG responsibility falls to the Head of Risk, but for businesses to be successful in their data retention and management, everyone needs to understand their data responsibilities.