Information Governance and the Electronic Life Cycle:
Using e-Discovery software to help you manage data.
Just like weeds in your garden, digital data can expand and proliferate wildly, building up unintentionally as a result of the daily routine tasks performed in your business. Left unattended, these virtual weeds can take over, inundating your storage systems and possibly leaving you at risk for malware or virus invasion. Proper cultivation, through effective and efficient use of Information Governance systems, will help you track and store electronically stored information (ESI) with appropriate due diligence.
The Information Lifecycle was first defined in five phases, related to how business used records in its daily operations. It covered the creation, distribution, use, maintenance and disposition of records. Hard copy records typically fell under the auspices of policies and procedures personnel who coordinated long term records keeping. With the rapid influx of, and our reliance on, digital data (such as email, web pages, documents, posts, tweets and more) data governance has become easier to manage, through the use of tools like e-Discovery software and yet an increasingly more complex and difficult task. Many companies are legally required to follow GARP, the Generally Accepted Record Keeping Principals as well as specific industry related legal or government regulated data governance archiving rules. Your Information Governance process will address your need to meet all government, regulatory and legal e-Discovery requirements with new strategies, more suitable to the digital age. (See below for the Information Governance Reference Model)
Handling data from inception to disposition, controlling and tracking it through the electronic lifecycle requires that stakeholders develop processes for determining and defining how this data should be handled and then stored. This includes the basics such as identifying data locations, understanding how all types of ESI are created and deployed as well as classifying its value to a company. How is this data used in day-to-day tasks? When will the ESI run the course of its use? Should it be preserved (archived) or disposed of? If preserved, will there be a default retention time? If disposed of, a process must be established to define how and when the data is purged. How will exceptions such as litigation holds or required communications be handled? Finally, for efficiency, security and regulatory purposes, data governance will help ensure the lifecycle is audited regularly to verify that data is not lost or unaccounted for should the need arise for this data to be available as part of any legal matter.
The need for data governance in a digital age will only continue to grow exponentially. It will become increasingly incumbent upon corporations to manage their information governance (understanding where data comes from and planning for its future) in a reliable, easily accessible, digital format. e-Discovery software tools, solutions and resources, will help you to address all your data governance needs. For further information about our e-Discovery solutions, please click on this highlighted e-Discovery software link.
Please share this information with your colleagues and send us your questions, comments and feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, we appreciate your time and look forward to answering any e-Discovery or Information Governance questions you may have; please contact us at 1 (800) 263-8733.