Quickly adapting to the changing conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic is a matter of survival for many organizations. Indeed, work-from-home (WFH) technology and policies provide a lifeline for companies and employees alike. Thus, a COVID-19 digital transformation is well underway.

Roadmap Needed

Companies must be agile to survive shocks and changes in markets and consumer behavior to ensure their long-term success. Yet, remote work requires long-term strategies to generate the efficiency and anywhere access required. Corporate cloud migrations and office space resizing come to mind.

Hence, organizations should develop a digital transformation roadmap to ensure that they arrive at their intended destination. Building that roadmap on a foundation of solid information governance ensures long-term compliance, greater efficiency and making use of the full value of the organization’s data.

Unstructured Data

Growing at the rate of 62% per year, unstructured data carries significant cost and risk implications for organizations. It currently finds a home in hundreds of different formats in hard-to-reach systems, like Microsoft 365, SharePoint, zip files, and other places. Despite this data sprawl, organizations still must ensure compliant information in every location.

Your digital transformation roadmap and information governance policy must address both structured and unstructured data. Therefore, approach data and records management with a clear and comprehensive plan that will reduce your organization’s risk and growth of unstructured data.

COVID-19 Digital Transformation

Program Governance

Start your digital transformation roadmap by enlisting executive leadership support. To be effective, you need more than executives to just sign off on the roadmap. You will go much further with an executive sponsor or champion to shepherd the project through all the obstacles that arise.

You may also want to consider forming a cross-functional advisory committee. Members of such a committee provide valuable input for key policies. They also serve as feet on the ground to implement front-line initiatives. Ideally, they ensure the adoption of best practices and consider how emerging technology might be applied to data management problems.

Committee members could also serve as departmental liaisons. Or, you may want to select other uniquely qualified individuals. The liaisons’ role is to communicate objectives, train managers and trainers within the department, and to monitor compliance and progress toward objectives.

RIM and Pillar of COVID-19 Digital Transformation

Records and information management or RIM Policy functions as a pillar of effective information governance. It creates the internal authority for policies and enforcement and, in doing so, establishes the legal defensibility of the organization’s policy elements, data and IG infrastructure.

Basic RIM policy elements:

  • Definitions
  • Record Ownership
  • Types and Formats of Records
  • Record Access and Security

Essential policy elements:

  • Acceptable and Unacceptable Record Use
  • Electronic Records and Communications Management
  • Data Compliance Monitoring
  • Legal Holds on Records
  • Record Deletion and Destruction

COVID-19 Digital Transformation

One of the primary tasks to be carried out under the RIM policy is updating the records retention schedule (RRS). The records retention schedule must be kept current to be legally compliant. Doing so protects the value of information and removes redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) information.

Organizations should conduct regular reviews of the RRS to ensure that it stays current and relevant. Conduct these reviews independently with each department and research legal issues as necessary.

In addition, look at records storage areas, including electronic media, to verify retention compliance, and modernize media formats, categories and access. To achieve legally compliant RIM, define a media neutral RRS.

Maintaining an up to date RRS policy reduces the risk of litigation and data loss, while minimizing the total cost of information management. Maintaining the RRS—in fact, nearly all these tasks—can be performed remotely.

Enlist an IG Partner

The current high volume of regulations and rapid technology change make effective information governance challenging. Hence, consistent effort drives progress. Organizations that also partner with an Information Governance expert stand to achieve excellent, timely results while minimizing overall cost.

Messaging Architects provides a broad range of information governance services, including ePolicy Review and Consulting, eDiscovery, GDPR and eMail and Data Migrations. With decades of experience, our IG consultants help business leaders develop COVID-19 digital transformation roadmaps based on solid information governance principles.

Download Article PDF