Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paper records are still better managed than Data

For many companies, management of electronic data is still worse than that of paper records, according to a recent study.

Information management industry group AIIM cited a recent survey of some 700 companies that indicated that many firms are still not taking management of digital records seriously.

The survey found that 26 per cent of companies have no official management policies for electronic records, while only 56 apply legal hold to electronic documents. Paper documents, by comparison, were retained for legal hold in 71 per cent of companies.

The advocacy group blames the disparity in part to muddled attitudes towards management of electronic data. The company suggested that for many enterprises, data retention and archiving is considered an IT issue rather than a records management issue.

"We found that over a third of organisations, if challenged, would not be confident that their electronic records had not been changed, deleted or inappropriately accessed," said AIIM president John Mancini

"These companies would be at a major disadvantage in any legal action, defending or prosecuting."

Management and retention of digital information has become a hot topic for enterprise IT in the past 10 years. Regulatory acts such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPA in the US have forced many companies to apply tighter standards to the way they manage information.

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