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No Decision IS a Decision in Information Governance

Umpire Decision

My work keeps me in touch with a lot of organizations, some already Doing Information Right™ but many more that have only gotten as far as to know they have to do SOMETHING, but haven’t yet figured out what.

Too often, they just kick the can down the road, not understanding that not making a decision about how to solve their information problems is, in fact, making a decision: namely, to let their situation worsen.

Like time, findability, retention, compliance, and privacy issues don’t stand still … they either get better or they get worse, and they don’t get better on their own.

This kind of non-decision decision is risky on a lot of levels, among the more obvious of which are:

  • Wasting ever-more time and money looking for needed information in the ever-expanding pile of content that’s clogging your repositories and databases
  • Deepening the legal liability associated with your likely growing backlog of records that are past their retention date
  • Exposing yourself to regulatory non-compliance penalties thanks to internal information practices that are inconsistent or, worse, unknown

And as compelling as these are, there’s one more that isn’t often talked about: the risk of losing talented, knowledgeable, but beyond-frustrated information professionals who are getting fed up and walking out the door, taking with them everything they know about your situation – and how to fix it.

These folks may not be missed now, but you’ll wish you still had them when:

  • Management demands you move your information to the cloud, or
  • You can’t efficiently fulfill an ediscovery obligation, or
  • Someone submits a data subject access request, or
  • You suffer a data breach because of an improperly filed sensitive document that nobody knew about

Trust me when I tell you that not deciding to put your information house in order today is the same as deciding to let it run down tomorrow, and thereafter.

So chase down that can before it bounces too far down the road and rolls away collecting dirt and dings and dents – just as your information will if you decide to do nothing.

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