Yesterday I published my first blog post on LinkedIn about the most fascinating subject known to people-kind: the definition of information governance. Believe me, this wasn’t my first blog post on the topic, just the first time I had published on LinkedIn. Anyway, in the post I discussed the definition we are advancing at the Information Governance Initiative and talked a little about my history with IG. My post came in the midst of some great back and forth among folks like @parapadakis, @piewords, @schellberg, @jimerrifield, @chris_p_walker, and @rlayel on Twitter and great blog posts by George, James, John, Laurence and others about the core concepts of IG. Who knows if anyone outside this circle finds the subject as fascinating as us, but what the hell, long tail and all that.
Anyway, today George published a thoughtful critique of the definition. Earlier in the day I was reading about a back and forth between a New York Times columnist and Walmart that has gone viral. It’s pretty interesting and funny (I mean the exchange, not the underlying issues being discussed) and feels like an important moment in how social media is radically changing the way that organizations interact with the media outlets who cover them. In any case, I was inspired (not that my output is “inspired) to steal the technique, and pulled out my virtual red pencil to respond to George’s post, hopefully with less snark that the Walmart exchange. I’ve never met George but I’m sure we are almost certainly much, much closer in our positions that the NYT columnist and the Walmart PR flack. Below is the relevant portion of George’s post, and my response. You can read the whole post here.
I was invited to participate in the LinkedIn publishing program, so I thought I would give it a shot, with my first post about the definition of information governance developed at the Information Governance Initiative, with the support of 93% of those we surveyed. Check it out here.
Pretty entertaining, and also from a case that is also interesting from an Information Governance perspective.
Just a quick post – came across this article when trying to fix a configuration issue with Apple Mail and Gmail, and I thought it nicely summed up the attitude I encounter from IT and others in our information governance engagements. Ask an attorney sometime if there really is “no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.” The drug dealers of the IG world have really done an incredible job convincing the addicts that the drug has no downside.
One of Gmail’s perks is a ridiculous amount of storage space, so Google has set it up to highly encourage archiving your email instead of having to make the decision to delete just some of it. After all, you never know if that rainy day will come next month or four years from now, and there’s no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.
More often that not, here’s what happens on that “rainy day,” in a depressing office park somewhere in the suburbs:
The company spent $900,000 to produce an amount of data that would consume less than one-quarter of the available capacity of an ordinary DVD.
RAND study on e-discovery, 2012
Now, folks outside of the IG and e-discovery bubble might reasonably think that, hey if there is ever a problem, I can just start deleting emails then, right?
Here’s a couple more quotes to consider.
And, my favorite
I just finished writing a report at the IGI that is a broad survey of market, legal, and technology developments that affect records retention and management practices. Some interesting things going on around the globe. For example, in April 2013, the UK abolished its primary financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, and replaced it with two new regulatory bodies: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). According to Steven Formica, CEO of Fontis International, a provider of global legal data for records retention schedules, this reform resulted in extensive changes to records retention requirements. For example, Steve’s firm replaced 104 existing records retention legal requirements related to the FSA with 686 new entries based on the requirements of the FCA/PRA. This kind of increased specificity and scrutiny on records retention is happening in the US and around the globe.
In any case, I will be discussing the paper and its key findings on a webinar hosted by Recall at 2 pm ET on March 25th, 2014. Click here to find out more and register to attend. The paper will be available for download immediately after the webinar.
Thursday February 20th, 2014 is the second annual Global Information Governance Day. We established #GIGD to raise awareness of information governance across the globe. See the Wikipedia entry for more information.
Success in information governance can only be achieved by challenging and changing the way we see information. This is why Global Information Day is useful: it will help to raise awareness of the critical importance of information governance.
As you celebrate Global Information Governance Day with your friends and family, here are some key points to remember:
- Over half of the information many organizations create and keep is redundant, outdated junk.
- Keeping this digital junk around only wastes capital that could be deployed elsewhere – to create jobs, for example – and unnecessarily harms the environment through massive electricity waste.
- The failure to manage burgeoning digital information is a demonstrable threat to the civil and criminal justice system due to the out-of-control costs of electronic discovery. Many cases and investigations are settled rather than properly adjudicated simply because the cost of finding and producing digital evidence is unreasonably high.
- The global failure to properly classify unstructured information is represents a growing threat to individual privacy. Every day your private information and mine is at risk of theft and unauthorized disclosure by the companies and governance agencies because they lack consistent and cost-effective techniques to separate personally identifiable information from non-private information.
How can you celebrate Global Information Governance Day? Here are some ideas:
- Chip away at your email inbox to try and achieve Inbox Zero.
- Clean up and shut down an old departmental shared drive, just for fun.
- Drink some herbal tea, read Zen Buddhism for Dummies, and try not to panic when you think about how big the problem is at your organization.
- Take six or seven hours and try to explain to your friends and family, what exactly do you do for a living again anyway?
- Participate in the first annual Global Information Governance Day Twitter chat.
In honor of Global Information Governance Day, I will be participating in a Twitter chat hosted by @RSDig at 11 am EST on February 20th, 2014 along with several other information governance experts. Hashtag is #GIGD. See you there.