Have you ever tried to glue something together that just wouldn’t stick? Maybe it was that bit of rubber on the sole of your sneakers, the family heirloom that Kitty accidentally knocked off the shelf, or maybe it was that one school project your child neglected to tell you about. In any of these examples, you know you must use the right kind of glue, because if you don’t, it just won’t stay together. The same rules apply to the information governance problem that many enterprise organizations have today. There are two essential parts to information governance. There is the value portion (information management) and the risks portion (records management / eDiscovery). If you cannot get those two elements to work together cohesively—to stick together—your entire information governance effort falls apart.
Let’s say you’re fixing your co-worker’s favorite coffee mug, before they find out it was you who broke the handle. You could try some of that white school glue, but that won’t last through their first cup of coffee. Maybe you stop by the corner store and grab some glue that says it is super, but really it just holds the pieces together until you lean back in your chair to admire your technical prowess, then it falls apart. It isn’t until you head to the hardware store and speak to one of the associates that they introduce you to the king of all glues…two-part epoxy!
Two-part epoxy is pretty awesome. You can glue just about anything with it…metal, plastic, wood, ceramics…you name it, there is an epoxy made for it! It is the same with information governance solutions. There are solutions designed for corporations big and small. And in this technological- and information-driven age, you must take time to research solutions and find the one best suited for your organization’s size and needs.
Two-part epoxy, much like information governance systems, comes in a package. It is a two-part mixture. Each portion contains a different polymer. Once you squeeze the tubes, the polymers mix, and the super-strong molecular bonds form. You usually have just a few minutes to work with the mixed epoxy before it becomes rock-hard and whatever is stuck together will stay stuck!
Two-part Information Governance: Value and Risk
In the same vein, to obtain its full potential, you as an enterprise organization, must take the two separate functions of the information governance, value and risk, and combine them together to form a cohesive system.
The value section of information governance, information management, is usually accomplished through the installation of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. It is pitched as a means to generate value from the information therein. Unfortunately, the return on investment (ROI) for these systems is difficult to gauge for this component of the information governance “epoxy” we are making, but with time and effort its value is soon realized.
For the the risk section of information governance, records management and eDiscovery, the ROI is more easily measured. Managing your company’s data to reduce costs and keep things organized is important. Investing in an eDiscovery solution is a no brainer and a best business practice. Regulatory or legal investigations are inevitable. Getting your ducks in a row is essential for the discovery process.
Returning to the epoxy analogy, the polymers on their own will not fix what is broken. It isn’t until the two parts are combined and the two elements are mixed together that the full bonding potential is realized. The same applies to information governance and your company.
Your organization needs information management, and it needs records management / eDiscovery. On their own they are fine projects & tools to implement and invest in, but if they are not combined and if an effort is not made to have them work together, their full value to your company will not be realized and you will not have true, cohesive information governance.If you don’t create a strong, combined information governance solution, you will sit back in your chair to admire your efforts, but when a legal discovery request arrives on your desk, everything will fall apart.
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