During the January 11th Peer Incite meeting to discuss the topic, “Is Archiving Broken”, the Wikibon team along with guest speaker Joe Martins made the case for why archiving solutions can be of critical importance to organizations trying to improve not only their compliance and e-discovery readiness but also for improving customer service, internal communications and employee productivity.
According to IDC the average worker spends almost 10 hours per week searching for and analyzing information. Organizations who are doing without enterprise-wide information archiving solutions or hosted archives – even if they have deployed point solutions for e-discovery and enterprise search - are probably losing many productive employee hours.
But to simply “react” to the need to implement an enterprise archive solution without properly planning ahead can also lead to wasted resources and marginal results. Wikibon recommends organizations follow a 10 step process, derived from the experiences and best practices of Information Management (IM) professionals who have successfully implemented solutions for their companies. (View this Wikibon How To Note for more detail)
- Recognize/Identify Problems
- Find Champions, Build Consensus
- Set Goals: Save Time, Money and Comply
- Do a Presentation for Executive Buy-in
- Create Cross-Functional Team
- Do Research, Develop a Plan
- Redefine Policies and Requirements, Create Budgets, Know your Scope
- Set Technology Direction (In-house vs. hosted) Auto-Classification
- Find a True Partner, Vet Vendors and their References
- Manage the Process, Test and Measure Results
Wikibon also recommends taking a survey of existing systems – you may have technology already in place that is not being used properly or leveraged across departments that can meet short term objectives while you put your plan in place. Developing a long term IM strategy does not preclude continuing to manage problem areas such as data sprawl, e-discovery and compliance requirements with existing resources.
Having clear business objectives for the project, executive buy-in, cross-functional collaboration and a strategic implementation plan in place before committing additional large sums of time and money to an archiving project and vendors or service providers will only improve the chances that the next generation solution will meet and perhaps exceed your organization’s expectations. Technology is an enabler of the business strategy.
Action Item: Review existing solutions and capabilities to determine how best to manage the present state of IM readiness. Begin the next generation archiving solution search with the business need as the first priority followed by the development of a strategic IM plan.