Is your organization a digital hoarder?

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Is your organization a digital hoarder?

I am always appalled when I somehow get roped into watching a show on a hoarder. I do realize it is a sickness, but it always amazes me that people can live like that. But, on the other hand, I think my husband has the beginning of the disease as he saves everything ‘just in case’ he will need it (think a street sewer cover!).

Now think about your organization. There are the organizations that keep and those that delete. Both can cause organizational risk in regards to compliance, potential litigation, eDiscovery, and security breaches. According to the 2012 Compliance, Governance and Oversight Counsel (CGOC) Summit, 69% of corporate information can and should be deleted.

Interestingly, based on an article about the recent Barclay’s Bank data exposure, it appears about 1K customers were scammed into investing in rare earth metals that did not exist. The files reportedly came from the now-defunct Barclays Financial Planning business. They contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, passport numbers, national insurance (NI) numbers and savings details of customers, and information about their dependents. Quoted in the article, Steve Smith, managing director of data security firm Pentura, said: “This shows that even older customer data from closed businesses or subsidiaries can have real value if it should fall into the wrong hands.

From the operational costs perspective, reducing storage, energy, and manpower is easily justified through an enforceable retention policy. It’s the picking and choosing what to save and what to delete. The new buzzword of the day, Information Governance plan is being touted as the solution to solve all your challenges. Ok, I’m all for that and a big proponent of information governance, but I don’t see our client base embracing enterprise information governance as a ‘must’ have. My boss always tells me I am down in the ‘weeds’. Well, that’s where most of our clients are, solving day-to-day challenges.

My question, does your organization have an Information Governance plan? Is your organization a keeper or a deleter? What are some other approaches that you feel would work, or have tried?

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