Trash the old data: A firm record retention schedule can lead to DM success

Many organizations don’t have a workable process for managing or governing the information and content they create and collect. Because the volume of that information is growing exponentially, a lack of a firm record retention schedule is costing organizations big money and will only become a greater liability as time passes, said Randolph Kahn of Kahn Consulting, a records information management consultancy in Highland Park, Ill.

Kahn’s assertion is supported by a recent survey in which almost half of all respondents said they had no information governance program to administer their growing volumes of data and content.

Organizations are saving too much data and, if they have them at all, are working with retention policies that are too complex, said Kahn, who co-presented the closing keynote speech,Right-sizing your information footprint by chucking your dead dataat MER 2012 in Chicago earlier this month with Jonathan Redgrave. “Very, very rarely, both from a business perspective and from a legal perspective is there some permanence to the value of information,” Kahn said.

Kahn, who sat down for an interview about getting rid of useless information and the importance of governing records with at the conference, said, “People have litigation on the brain … and that has created this environment of over-retention.” If enterprises don’t develop document management programs that include destruction of useless records and information, liabilities will continue to mount.

Viewers of this 7-minute video will learn

  • Finding your stuff among a huge pile is much harder than in a smaller one;
  • Legal requirements should not dictate an enterprise’s retention rules;
  • It’s not just the volume of content and information causing issues; it’s also an increasing number of formats, environments and places to keep it all;
  • Many organizational retention rules aren’t very good, over-retain or don’t incorporate business needs;
  • Most of the time, organizations keep content and information much too long and make keeping it too complex; and
  • Employees are really bad at classifying information, and technology can be used to harness and clean it up.


MOTTS: For more about records management and document management

View the first part of this two-part interview with Randolph Kahn talking about deleting organizational content and information

Learn why document management system success relies on proper scoping of the project

Read a definition of electronic document management

Find out how CNG-SAFE has helped organizations with their records management needs

Read about how a commercial ranching operation pulls together database and records management software

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