Out with old: Effective records management begins with losing useless data

Information has become a liability for many organizations that can’t find what they need and they are being penalized in the courtroom, said Randolph Kahn of Kahn Consulting, a records information management consultancy in Highland Park, Ill. If enterprises don’t develop document management programs that enable the defensible destruction of useless records and information, those liabilities will only increase and money will be spent needlessly.

“Every business that has processes that went electronic over the past 20 or 30 years has been over-retaining scores of electronic information in various formats and in various systems,” said Kahn, who co-presented the closing keynote, Right-sizing Your Information Footprint by Chucking Your Dead Data at MER 2012 in Chicago earlier this month with Jonathan Redgrave. Kahn said the massive amounts of information being kept by organizations are no longer assets.

Kahn, who sat down for an interview about information management and governing records with SearchContentManagement.com at MER 2012, said, “Most big businesses today have so much information … that employees are spending somewhere between 10% and 25% of their work life looking for stuff. That’s really significant money.”

Information governance -- and records information management especially -- should include the removal of certain information and content in ordinary course of business, Kahn said. It’s crazy that organizations often end up recreating information because they keep too much of it to be able to retrieve it when necessary.

“Forty-four times the amount of data that existed last year is going to be created in the next 10 years,” Kahn said. “We can’t measure what we have now.”  

Viewers of the 7-minute video will learn

  • That storage is not cheap and that trimming low-value content and information can potentially save millions of dollars over the course of a few years;
  • Why it’s important to only hold on to the information that’s really needed to protect legal interests and run the organization;
  • How organizations can go for the least costly and lowest of the low-hanging fruit by chucking dead information;
  • Why the cloud is not a license for hanging on to more data and information than might occur otherwise;
  • The business value of being able to harness a competitive advantage that is greatly improved by removing useless data and establishing a thinner information footprint;
  • How using the cloud for storage is not a license for ignoring the housecleaning.


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