In my last two articles, I wrote about what I called the “Corporate Cigar Box,” the ever-growing collection of records and information that places increasing burdens on corporate IT departments and consumes a surprisingly large share of the overall budget. There, we discussed the need for accountability and policy, and I offered some high-level suggestions on how to begin to get a handle on the problem of unneeded data.
This time, I want to take the discussion to the next level, and suggest some specific steps that companies should follow to begin to better manage records and information, and reduce the amount of what a very smart woman once told me was the “OC,” or “obvious crap.”
Increasingly, mixed-use repositories such as email archives and collaboration tools constitute the primary consumers of storage space. One of the values of such systems is that they are content-agnostic. You can store anything in SharePoint, which is, well, the point. Therefore, it will be critical to eventually map the record content to the storage location within your information systems, and that begins by mapping the information systems themselves. The good news is that those smart folks in IT are already ahead of you. Chances are good that you’ve got a change management database (CMDB) or similar application or document that may well serve.
3. Update Your Records Retention Schedule