The amount of data in the world almost doubles every 2 years. That is a frightening statistic. But is it should information overload worry your organisation? Recent studies have showed that while two-thirds of the data within the digital universe is created or captured by consumers and workers, organisations are liable or responsible for 85% of the digital universe. In other words, organisations are liable for a great deal of data that they are are not directly creating.
For those in the compliance or legal departments this is cause for concern. If it seems difficult to ensure that you have control of the information held within your organisation, attempting to gain visibility and control of information outside it must feel like trying to catch the wind. This is especially true as recent report estimates that less than a quarter of data in the digital universe is tagged or categorised, making it extremely difficult to analyse and manage effectively.
The situation gets little better for most organisations when they look internally. As storage is relatively cheap, many organisations have simply retained every piece of information. Over the years, this has built up and is stored in silos all over the organisation. Paper and electronic data is kept in many different formats and even where it has been properly categorised for Records Management, is not usually easily accessible or retrievable.
This poses major problems when an organisation is in the discovery process of litigation, or dealing with auditors checking on the company’s compliance with industry regulation. It is also difficult for employees working within the company who are either excluded from information that may be of value to them or faced with so much information that they don’t know where to start. It is a situation that’s made worse by business tools, especially email, that are meant to improve productivity in the company, but can easily do exactly the opposite.
Many organisations discover over time that the majority of information within the organisation adds no value to the business. It is duplicated, it is obsolete, it is incomplete. Information Governance provides a means to simplify the structure of information within the business and only keep information of value.