Thought Leadership and Industry Trends
5 Tips for Effective Information Governance
By Jeff Salling, Esq., CDS.
Are you monitoring what employees say in emails? Have you trained your staff on how to handle electronic information? How long do you save your data? Effective information governance is necessary for every company and only gets more complicated as the amount of data we gather and store keeps increasing. Every company needs to develop and access their policies and proactively manage their data if they want to stay out of trouble. But what are the key components for effective information governance?
- Know where your data is and how it can be accessed. Understand what data storage systems are being used by the company. If you are considering designing or purchasing new custom software, take into consideration how that may impact future needs to maintain, update, and recover your data. A cost/benefit analysis should be done before implementing new systems.
- Have a document retention policy. Your policy should be comprehensive, in writing, and distributed to everyone.
- Provide continual employee training. It’s not enough to just hand the document retention policy to staff and ask them to sign off that they received it. Someone should go through it with them to make sure they understand it. Continual training should be provided as well since the organization and policies will change over time. In addition, employees should be give instruction in appropriate online and email behavior. There have been plenty of cases where unprofessional email language came back to haunt a company in litigation. Several recent ones involved law firms who disparaged clients or made other damaging comments about how the case was being managed.
- Monitor email communications. Some companies have gone so far as to set up systems that read through emails looking for certain terms that might be a red flag indicating inappropriate or illegal behavior. In certain regulated industries (ex. financial services) or those prone to litigation, this can be a useful tool to help address potential problems within the company.
- Implement automatic deletion systems. It’s important to delete data regularly. Holding on to data too long can cause problems as well as increase costs substantially.
CDS has experience through every element of the eDiscovery process. Including helping to design effective information governance processes. Learn more about our end-to-end eDiscovery capabilities at https://cdslegal.com/edrm/.