Enterprises today are faced with rising difficulties due to increased demands for managing large volumes of information, as well as tightening regulatory compliance requirements. As a result of these pressures, many firms are looking to improve records management. By making data more readily accessible with electronic document management software, an organization is able to better meet eDiscovery requests while also ensuring enhanced and more accurate decision-making.
A recent study by The Legal Exchange Network revealed that an overwhelming 93 percent of senior corporate executives identified information management and/or data collection as their top investment priority. Furthermore, the survey found that 89 percent are going to invest in data preservation and/or data processing solutions over the next 6 to 24 months.
Meeting legal requirements
A major reason that many companies are looking to improve data management is that issues with retention can be extremely costly when a company is subject to litigation. Corporate Counsel asserted that holding onto data for too long, storing records in places that are difficult to find or a general lack of awareness regarding the records that are maintained can compromise regulatory compliance. Therefore, the source reported that Corporate Counsel's 25th Annual General Counsel Conference recently urged attendees to get documents in order and implement policies that employees can understand regarding best practices for data management.
"The more data you have, the more expensive your litigation is," said Robert Owen, a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, according to the source. "There's nothing wrong with taking steps to minimize the data volume at your company."
Corporate Counsel noted that the first step to improving records management is to devise a document retention policy. Organizations need to identify data and documents that are required by the business as well as those that the law requires, which the source explained will vary by industry and state. Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute, pointed out that it's critical to make sure that employees aren't holding onto their own copies in private archives, especially if the company decides that certain documents will be destroyed on a regular basis. But Flynn was adamant that workers may not know what is mandated by regulations, or even what constitutes a record. Thus, it's crucial to educate staff on all of the risks and rules involved in a successful records management program.
In order to enforce these policies, Flynn recommended deploying new technologies that aid in not only managing content, but also offer optimal security and automatic archiving.
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