Has your data had a checkup?
Jeff Tujetsh, Product Manager, Sherpa Software
Whether you’re tired of wasting time searching through mounds of documents or you have greater concerns, like litigation issues – evaluating your retention policy is critical to your business. And we’re not just talking email. The scope needs to be much wider and take all your documents into account.
I like to use this analogy - many of us perform preventive maintenance on our cars to keep our investment up and running. We don't just check the tires to make sure they have enough air. We also regularly change the oil, check the hoses, etc. In your business, your data is no different. You need to ensure that all data is being managed via a consistent retention policy. Since it would take a small book (or maybe even a large one) to speak to retention policies for all of your data, in this post I will focus on the data you have within IBM Connections.
Wondering if your IBM Connections data needs managing? If you agree with any of these three statements, then the answer is a resounding, "Yes, it does":
1. We don't need a retention policy
Litigation issues revolving around data retention are constantly in the news and though some companies have yet to adopt a retention policy, it would be wise if they were to create and enforce one sooner rather than later. Any and all data within your environment is subject to litigation and that includes the data within IBM Connections.
IBM Connections offers a great catalog of applications that allows companies to use social business in the workplace, to solve business problems in a unique but powerful way. It also promotes collaboration – sharing of ideas, skills and documents. But how are you managing these documents? In the past we all focused on email, but today we need a bigger umbrella for our retention policy enforcement.
And not all requirements are going to be the same; it’s okay to have variable retention as long as you are consistent with the policy. In order to properly manage your IBM Connections data, you need to understand who created it, what they created and where (what application) it exists. Once you have these answers, you can start to formulate your plan. Decide whose data is kept for whatever retention is applicable.
2. We are 100% aware of what data we have
They say ignorance is bliss, but I don’t recommend joining that club when you’re dealing with data.
Most companies have limited the IBM Connections data to be business-specific, though non-business data could exist. For the sake of this blog however, I am focused on standard business information, such as discussing business plans, key initiatives, etc. that can be harmful in litigation. This isn’t about alarming anyone, but raising awareness. Blogs, wikis and forums are not only a wealth of information, but can also be used as evidence into a court case. While email poses the same threat, there is a good chance your company already has a policy in place for that.
Knowing what exists only benefit you in the long run.
3. Our data will never be included in litigation
Once again, if you’re in the Ignorance is Bliss group, now might be a good time to turn in your membership card.
The U.S. is a very litigious country and many other countries are jumping on board the legal train. There is a good chance that at some point you will be involved in litigation. And if you’re forced to search all data, this could very well include your data within IBM Connections. Not having a retention policy will come back to haunt you.
Assess what data you have, create the policy and enforce it. Be sure to get your legal team involved early and often. They will be the ones that need to create the policy, but they will need IT's help in understanding the data.
On September 18, Sherpa Software will be taking part in the Virtual Product Showcase Booth that is being sponsored by IBM. This will be an opportunity for us to highlight how our Social Attender for Connections product can be used to help collect, manage and search your IBM Connections data. Using Social Attender, you will be able to enforce retention policies and also full understand what data is already present.
For more information, be sure to register for the "Reinvent the way work works with the leading social platform" event. And Follow #SocialAttender on Twitter for the latest updates or contact us at Sherpa Software to learn more: http://hsinfo.sherpasoftware.com/ibm-virtual-booth-2013