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FreePint BlogThe challenge of information management compliance

Thursday, 6th September 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

Abstract

As information technology continues to become increasingly embedded in our jobs, organisations will have exponentially more challenges around information compliance. Although individual industries have unique regulations, technologies and challenges, fundamentally, many of the compliance requirements are common. This allows information managers across multiple industries to address compliance challenges in a standard, systematic way. Edsel David looks at six strategies to begin to address these challenges.

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As information technology continues to become increasingly embedded in our jobs, organisations will have exponentially more challenges around information compliance: more data, records and information, more systems and more technology-facilitated processes. However, even in the midst of this challenge, information managers have been able to adjust and develop standards and best practices.

Although individual industries have unique regulations, technologies and challenges, fundamentally, many of the compliance requirements are common. This allows information managers across multiple industries to address compliance challenges in a standard, systematic way. Technology has helped to create compliance challenges, but information managers can use some traditional non-technology strategies to tackle these challenges. These strategies apply to organisations that have little to no compliance programs in place, as well as those who are seeking ways to enhance and supplement existing programs.

An initial strategy can be to develop a long-term compliance strategy. Information management compliance is not getting any less complex or important. The scope of regulations is expanding, the number of requirements increasing, the scrutiny of auditors widening and sanctions becoming steeper. Responding in an ad-hoc or siloed manner is simply not an effective way to deal with the challenges of compliance. If organisations don’t develop an enterprise-wide compliance strategy, they will end up spending more, making poor compliance-related decisions, wasting the valuable time of their employees trying to find data and will likely have repeated compliance transgressions.

A compliance strategy provides a framework for assessing and measuring compliance, creating and controlling compliance processes, and responding to compliance requirements across an organisation and across multiple domains in a consistent, predictable way. It streamlines efforts, supports collaboration across business units and ultimately reduces the time, effort and cost in becoming and staying compliant.

To comply with legal and regulatory demands, and to avoid sanctions, organisations should establish an effective information governance strategy that combines paper and electronically stored information retention policies and an intelligent approach to archiving and discovery. Such a strategy will enable organisations to minimise compliance complexity, costs, and risks while enhancing data centre efficiency and reducing storage. 

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