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ARMA/Forrester Survey: Only One in Eight Records Managers Trusts Their ESI – eDiscovery Trends

According to the Forrester Research and ARMA International Records Management Online Survey, Q3 2012, only 12 percent of records managers are “very confident” that, if challenged, their organization could demonstrate that their electronically stored information (ESI) is “accurate, accessible, complete and trustworthy”.  That’s less than one in eight.

The report, co-authored by ARMA and Forrester Research, contains the results of a survey of 354 records managers.

Some of the less than optimistic comments from the report include: “Records managers report abysmally low e-discovery confidence…This bleak data point represents an even lower e-discovery confidence rate than captured in past surveys…[S]urvey data show that integrated legal hold – a critical component needed for successful defensible disposition – is simply missing in organizations.”

And this: “Organizations aren’t sure of the business value or legal obligations to preserve content so they simply continue to accumulate digital debris, slowing down overtaxed systems, adding to storage costs, and posing potential additional litigation and investigation burdens over time.”

Some of the reasons cited as obstacles to improved records management include:

  • Poor systems integration – 74 percent of respondents;
  • Inadequate budget – 73 percent;
  • Lack of experienced staff – 64 percent;
  • Outdated policies or procedures – 55 percent; and
  • Lack of clear leadership – 54 percent.

So, what are organizations doing to address the obstacles?  Here are some indications:

  • 40 percent of survey respondents expect that their organization’s overall records management spending will increase at least 5% from 2012 to 2013;
  • 71 percent currently have implementation plans underway, or plans to implement records management technology within the next year;
  • 81 percent consider an improvement in records management policy consistency an important objective for their organization.

A copy of the report is available here from Forrester Research for $499.

Since, according to the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC), information volume doubles every 18-24 months, you would think organizations would be making greater strides in implementing information governance programs.  Of course, many information governance industry initiatives are still in relative infancy, including the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) Project of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), which was started a mere two years ago (click here for information on their newest version).  It appears that organizations still have a long way to go to get their data under control.

So, what do you think?  What, if any, records management obstacles are your organization facing?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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