The State of Information Management in 2016

The importance of a strong, agile information management (IM) strategy has never been greater. (Read about our tips for setting one up here.)

But why?

Due to the digitalization of business, we are creating more information at a faster rate than ever before—making it increasingly difficult to efficiently capture, manage, store, archive, and deliver it when necessary.

Our friends at AIIM recently surveyed their membership to get a pulse on current trends, challenges, goals, and risks associated with IM today.

Responses were gathered from professionals belonging to organizations of all sizes, from 10 employees to more than 10,000, across a wide variety of industries. The survey results were published in the AIIM Industry Watch report, Information Management: State of the Industry 2016.

Not surprisingly, the survey data proves that organizations are indeed challenged by the rapid influx of information generated by an increasingly digital world.

Compliance and Risk

As information continues to be generated in ever growing quantities, the potential for it to seep out of organizations also increases.

This risk is top of mind for today’s IT leaders—59% of survey respondents working in organizations with 5,000+ employees cited compliance and risk as the largest driver of IM initiatives, a sharp jump from the 39% who answered the same way last year.

Despite the awareness of risk, however, 50% of organizations with information governance policies in place are not auditing for compliance, and 15% admit these policies are mostly ignored!

AIIM’s recommendation: Setting and publishing standards, then actually auditing for compliance with these standards, will help get everyone on the same path. Without the auditing component, however, risk and chaos ensue.

Read about the role of compliance in software asset management.

Email Management

According to the most recent email statistics report from the Radicati Group, users send and receive an average of 122 business emails each day, a number that’s projected to grow by 3% year-over-year for the next four years.

The volume is certainly being felt by survey respondents, more than half of whom described email as the “big untagged, ungoverned, high-risk content type.”

Thirty-nine percent also described email management in their organization as “chaotic,” and 78% said it’s common for users in their organization to circulate multiple copies and versions of documents via email during document review processes.

AIIM’s recommendation: Take a particularly close look at email retention policies in your organization. Are there guidelines for how long and where to store messages that contain sensitive or classified information? Start speaking with users to learn about their email habits so you can to put a transition plan in place that facilitates broad adoption.

Check out this post for three reasons to stop sharing documents via email.

Content Lifecycle

In a recent survey conducted by Nitro and Spiceworks, content management emerged as the second most common priority for IT teams in 2016.

According to AIIM’s report, poor content management practices are  present in many organizations and yield a number of productivity-draining results:

  • Taking too long to find content (62%)
  • Duplicated efforts (52%)
  • Too many round-robin emails (49%)
  • Insufficient re-use (46%)
  • Unnecessary printing (40%)

AIIM’s recommendation: Ensure that lifecycles are defined for all content in each type of repository. Implement retention and deletion policies that are in line with your information governance policy…and don’t forget to audit!

Read the next article in our IM series here, and if you want to access the full Information Management report from AIIM, you can download it for free on their website.