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UK enterprises identify email management as primary information management pain point

Recommind has announced the results of its latest information risk research (conducted by Vanson Bourne) which surveyed 200 CIOs and IT directors within large UK organizations. The data reveals a stark disconnect between the real, day-to-day information management issues that organizations face, and the budgets and resources allocated to tackle these problems. The research highlighted that more than one third (36 percent) of all UK CIOs and IT directors cited email overload as their company’s main pain point, whereas only 8 percent of those surveyed considered social media tools, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to be the utmost concern – a considerable drop from 35 percent in 2010’s results.

Whereas IT budgetary allocations for social media were in close alignment with just 11 percent of respondents focusing on managing Web 2.0 information, the research indicates that just 16 percent of organizations assigned the majority of their budget to addressing email management, despite being the UK’s top pain point. This inability to gain control over enterprise email at a time when information risk is escalating, will have costly repercussions to businesses in the long term.

“The disparity between the real issues that CIOs are facing, and the way that budgets are being allocated, is concerning,” commented Simon Price, European director at Recommind. “The buzz surrounding social media and the risks associated with it will no doubt continue to dominate headlines, and it is of course important for organizations to have policies in place to manage and control information that can potentially be spread via Web 2.0 channels, however these results show that social media is only a minor part of the greater information management challenges organizations are faced with on a daily basis.”

The challenge of information management has heightened recently as organizations realise the risk and repercussions surrounding the electronic information that is within their firewall. Seemingly benign stores of archived email are not so benign when faced with the UK’s increasingly stringent regulatory climate, including an increase in high-profile investigations, the rise in financial penalties such as ICO fines and the announcement of the controversial UK Bribery Act. Whereas email archives were once forgotten data stores, the risk of maintaining them has caused 71 percent of companies surveyed to rethink their information risk strategy in order to protect themselves from financial and reputational damage.

“It’s encouraging to see that so many organizations are reassessing how they mitigate and control information risk,” continued Price. “Email has become such a big part of our day-to-day working lives that its impact is often underestimated. If and when firms are faced with an investigation or an eDisclosure request, retrieving the necessary information from email creates a huge amount of work, not to mention business disruption and waste of valuable employee time. When it comes to information governance, it is essential that companies focus the appropriate amount of resources on these big, everyday issues to ensure they don’t fall foul of the regulations at a later date. These research findings clearly show that fixing email management is an issue that needs to be promptly readdressed.”

It comes as no surprise that organizations continue to cite fraud and data breaches as the biggest dangers to corporate information (83 percent), with compliance and regulatory investigations coming in second at 46 percent. In order to address these issues, 43 percent of those surveyed are focusing the majority of their information management budgets on document management and enterprise search systems.


•Date: 13th May 2011 • Region: UK •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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