Emerging trends in records and information management ‒ balancing information risk and information value

By: In: Information Management On: Mar 18, 2015
Emerging trends in records and information management ‒ balancing information risk and information value

The business conversation around records and information management has evolved. No longer is the primary focus on risk mitigation and compliance, many are now talking about deriving tangible business value from their information. Indeed, our own research with PwC last summer suggests that this is now a top priority for many organizations.

It’s a difficult balance. Many focus on managing their information to keep it secure, but at the same time hope to realize its full business potential and gain measurable returns from the resources (cost and time) that have been invested in creating it in the first place and managing it through to defensible disposition.

And it’s hard to get right. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report, the Virtuous Circle of Data , published in February 2015 revealed that just 27% of companies worldwide say their employees have access to the data they need, and 42% admit access that data is cumbersome and not user-friendly.

Iron Mountain has decided to focus on ‘value from information’ as a major theme for 2015. Over the coming months, the theme will be examined from different perspectives in order to help organizations better understand and address their challenges related to “return on information”.

The first of our research projects surveyed business decision makers and records and information managers at 900 organizations with between 250 and 999 employees, within the healthcare, public sector, retail, legal, financial services/insurance, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and energy sectors, in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany and in the US. Research was undertaken online in January/February 2015.

Some of the data from that research are presented here in the infographic accompanying this piece.

Return_on_information_part_4One of the key challenges we uncovered was that just one in five business leaders in the US (and only one in ten in Europe) has complete confidence in their organization’s ability to extract value from information.

What’s causing this? Using existing and research in process, we hope to publish a full report of our findings in the coming months. In the meantime, it occurs to me that one of the underlying causes is a lack of understanding between those who create, manage and use information.

The research shows that most (seven in ten) US business leaders don’t fully understand what their information managers do. In return, 58% of records and information managers admit they don’t know exactly what senior business leaders want and need from information – with even more, 75% confused about the information needs of colleagues in marketing, manufacturing, finance and other departments.

There’s a communication gap that we need to close. I welcome suggestions on how RIM professionals can better communicate our role to the top of the business.

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About the author

Sue Trombley

Sue Trombley, Managing Director of Thought Leadership at Iron Mountain, has more than 25 years of information governance consulting experience. Prior to her current role, Trombley led Iron Mountain’s Consulting group responsible for business development, managing a team of subject matter experts, and running large engagements. Trombley holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and recently was certified as an Information Government Professional. She sits on the AIIM Board, the University of Texas at Austin of School of Information Advisory Council, and is President of the Boston ARMA Chapter. She is Iron Mountain’s representative on the newly formed Information Governance Initiative and is frequent speaker at association events.