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Compliance scares make pack rats of IT

September 30, 2008

After recently attending the IDC-Kahn Consulting Inc. Compliance in Information Management Forum, the author of this article walked away with contradicting opinions about e-mail storage – what should you keep and what should you toss? Opinions vary. On one hand, Sandra Hostetter, program manager for electronic content management and retention at Rohm and Haas Co., said at the event that her company’s policy is to delete e-mails after 60 days. On the other hand, speaker George Goldsmith, director of enterprise content management and litigation support at Forest Laboratories Inc., said that his company saves any and all e-mails. So who’s in the right here?

When it comes down to it, there doesn’t seem to be one good answer. As the author points out, choosing a records management process depends heavily on the unique state of each organization.

“While records management has its established rules, electronic information management is an entirely new ball of wax. And I don’t see that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure made it any less complex. Experts say the rules are vague and remain open to interpretation. As a result, how to handle electronic information is vague and remains open to interpretation.”

Sure, saving every last e-mail may make pack rats out of IT professionals, however if it works for them, so be it. The important thing is, is that every organization have a process in which all employees understand and implement. Forcing compliance will create a standard that you and your company will be able to confidently rely upon should your records be challenged in a court of law.

Compliance scares make pack rats of IT, September 24, 2008

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