Best Practices for Information Governance

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 information lifecycle governance

Starting an information lifecycle governance program and improving your organization’s information economics will take time, commitment and resources. 

3. Launch a defensible disposal program.

The defensible disposal of valueless information is the key ILG mechanism for reducing cost and risk. The goal of a defensible disposal program is to regularly and automatically dispose of all information that does not need to be retained for legal, compliance or business purposes. The target sources for defensible disposal include business data, off-site storage, email, backup tapes and call recordings.

Like the ILG program itself, defensible disposal requires executive support and coordination among legal, compliance, IT and business users. The goal is to develop a comprehensive records retention and destruction program that guides the identification of the information to be kept, and aligns with the needs of the legal team and lines of business to preserve some data to respond to litigation or for ongoing operations, enabling all other information to be removed from the environment.

4. Take a fresh look at archiving.

Archiving can no longer be viewed with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. Archives are a primary source of vast amounts of unstructured data, which is of increasing interest to regulators and litigators. As a result, ILG policies and defensible disposal must address archives, and the information in them must at least be minimally classified to support even the coarsest approach to disposition. This requires next-generation analytics and discovery tools designed to handle the volume and variety of data the archives contain.

5. Initiate proactive e-discovery with early data assessment.

To lower the cost of e-discovery, early data assessment (EDA) moves the analysis phase to the very beginning of the e-discovery life cycle. Historically, documents were not analyzed until after they had been processed and reviewed. Early case assessment (ECA) moved the analysis phase to a point after preservation and collection. EDA performs analysis at the point of identification.

The ILG benefits of EDA include saving time and money, while increasing the likelihood that data can be defensibly disposed of before being collected for e-discovery. EDA can also decrease legal costs and risk by enabling faster responses to discovery requests. It also increases the amount of time the legal team has to prepare an effective strategy.

Developing an ILG Program

Starting an ILG program and improving your organization’s information economics will take time, commitment and resources. Here are some recommendations and considerations:

· Connect program development to your current business strategy to help make the business case, but also make the program agile and flexible. There is no single right way to do it.

· Dedicate staff with information management experience to the program.

· Use program and project management to develop, guide and monitor the program.

· Get a consensus from management and the business units on the overall strategy.

· Don’t wait for everyone to agree on every detail because they never will.

· Always put policy before process.

· Demonstrate value and show success early in the program.

· Learn from your wins and losses and from those of others.

· You must start someplace, so why not “here”—wherever that may be.

· Refine the program as you go. It is dynamic and will always need to be kept updated as the use and demand for information continue to evolve.

Derek Gascon is executive director of CGOC. He spent more than 20 years in a range of positions related to information management, from IT leadership on the customer side to delivering products and solutions in the vendor community.

This article was originally published on 2014-10-23
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