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Is Your Glass Half Full of Information Governance?

Rene Laurens

As electronically stored information continues to accumulate faster and in more formats than ever before, we’ve all recognized the growing challenges and risks involved in managing it. However, as some studies suggest, information governance (IG) is still not on most corporations’ lists of priorities.

The Information Governance Initiative (IGI), dedicated to advancing IG as a priority among today’s corporations, set out to answer a burning question in their annual research report for 2015: “Are the experts optimistic or pessimistic about the state of information governance in 2020?”

Hearing what today’s practitioners have to say about tomorrow’s potential for IG is a strong indicator of whether our industry is on the right path. Take a look at IGI’s “tension pair” and decide which statement resonates most with you.

Statement 1
By 2020 information governance will help drive relatively minor improvements in the way organizations manage information, but on the whole, the problem will be the same or worse than it is today. This will manifest itself in multiple ways, such as growing e-discovery costs and ongoing e-discovery battles over information, continued growth in outdated and useless information stored by organizations, and a struggle to contain data breaches.


Statement 2
By 2020 information governance will play a central role in helping organizations maximize the value of their information and reduce its associated costs and risks. This will manifest itself in multiple ways, such as dramatically reduced e-discovery costs and fewer e-discovery battles over information, a dramatic reduction in the volume of outdated and useless information stored by organizations, and far fewer data breaches.

We are certainly seeing large organizations managing their data more securely for compliance, regulation, human resources policies, and business reasons—and for that reason, I’d say we lean toward Statement 2. Unfortunately, information governance is not only a big-company problem, it’s an any-company problem. With the blend of small, large, new, and old businesses in today’s market, it’s tough to generalize with either statement. It’s truly a blend—in some industries, Statement 2’s reduced e-discovery costs and reduced data volumes are already in play. In others, though, those same problems are still growing. Overall, there’s good reason to believe in Statement 2, especially as the conversations around big data and information governance continue.

We also asked David Hejna, our general counsel here at kCura, for his thoughts from a corporate attorney perspective. Here’s what he had to say:

"I lean toward Statement 2. By 2020, more companies will at least use built-in, automated deletion and archiving rules. Many may see this need to evolve their IG practices after they face—or hear war stories about—high discovery costs in litigation."

We’d like to see information governance better integrated into business models and are optimistic things will move in that direction, though it’s hard to say all organizations will be there by 2020. Along the way, companies will be asking more from technology to assist with managing data—and that’s where we hope we can assist. There will always be a human component, but the more software like ours can help, the more businesses will see the benefits inherent to Statement 2 because it will be easier for small groups to manage large amounts of data.

Check out the full report, 2020 Vision on Information Governance, to learn what others had to say, and keep the conversation rolling in the comments below.

Rene Laurens is a member of the Relativity solutions group, assisting case teams with processing, searching, and analytics workflows. He has more than eight years of litigation support experience, specializing in e-discovery, databases, and project management.

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