AIIM Governance Report

AIIM Research: The Need to Automate Governance and Compliance

AIIM has released its latest research report focused on the intersection between information governance, security, analytics and machine learning (ML), “Automating Compliance and Governance: Understanding the intersection between information governance & security and analytics & machine learning.” Here’s a summary of what AIIM learned.

In prior AIIM research, 51% of organizations plan to spend a lot more of their budgets on information governance in the next 18-24 months. The focus will be on records management and digital preservation. Also, 57% plan to increase spending on analytics and ML and 81% will spend budgets on document classification and PII to automate key information governance and security processes.


Dealing with information overload

This new AIIM report paints a picture of information overload and chaos. Seventeen percent of survey respondents said it’s a critical problem; 37% said it’s a significant problem. What makes dealing with all this information worse is that a lot of it isn’t needed, but organizations continue to keep it despite the problems that cause.

In this study, 48% believe that less than 40% of their information is sensitive and critical, while 35% see 40% of their information as ROT (redundant, obsolete and trivial). What is 35% doing with their ROT? Nothing.

There are many processes that an organization can put in place to manage their information effectively. A common theme we talk about is the need to get a handle on what information you have and put a plan in place to clean, organize and manage it appropriately. That effort requires technology to help. Unfortunately, 60% of the respondents in this study have manual approaches to retention and disposition management – or they save everything.

AIIM Automated processes

The challenge is that many organizations see automating governance processes as impossible or, at the least, very difficult, even though they believe it’s highly important.

Lines are Blurring Between Structured and Unstructured

is clear is that organizations are taking a wider lens towards information governance, including how they approach structured and unstructured information. As a reminder, structured information is data that has a defined data model or schema such as data stored in a database. Unstructured information has no structure, like a Word document, email or video. Typically, we manage these two types of information in very different ways, but the lines are blurring, and traditional approaches to managing governance and compliance for both are no longer working.

“Traditional thinking holds that significantly more is spent on managing data than on managing content and documents. When asked which is more important and which consumes more expense, the responses are fairly evenly split. Given that much of the new data coming into an organization is unstructured (some say 80% of the growth is from unstructured as compared to structured) management of unstructured information is likely to become even more important in the future than it has been in the past.”

Information governance strategies should consider both structured and unstructured information. But they also should consider automation and the potential opportunities the Cloud provides.

Taking Information Governance Discussion to a Higher Level

Part of the challenge for effective information governance is a lack of understanding of exactly what it comprises. Many still think of governance in the realm of records management, but the reality is it’s so much more than that. When respondents were asked what was most important to their organization, they listed information security and privacy ahead of governance:

  • Information Security (InfoSec) – 51%
  • Information Privacy – 26%
  • Information Governance (InfoGov) – 23%

The truth is, information governance includes considerations for privacy and security (as we’ve often identified in our information governance use cases).

When you think of information governance on a higher level that includes privacy and security, you also understand why automating many of the processes is critical. You even understand how a well-defined and implemented governance plan can enable you to do more than manage your information – it enables you to take advantage of it:

  • 33% are combining and restructuring data to make it more suitable for analysis
  • 30% are determining the quality of their data
  • 30% finding data useful for solving a problem

Driving the Need for Automation

According to the AIIM study, the top three cost drivers for automating governance are:

AIIM Benefits of Automation

Because the benefits are clear, over 50% are spending $100,000 plus on compliance and governance, and 49% will increase their spending, especially around AI and analytics technology.

AIIM Governance Spending Plans

What Can You Do?

The report ends with fourteen things you can do to start automating governance and compliance. We won’t go through them all here, but we thought we would point out a few that Everteam can help you with.

  • Audit existing legacy systems
  • Take retention management out of the hands of end users
  • Build intelligence into governance processes – auto-tagging and categorizing content
  • Update your policies to reflect migrating to the Cloud
  • Set retention periods and ensure they are implemented

There are more insights in this report than we have discussed, so it’s worth downloading your copy and reading through all the research and findings. If you want some help understanding how to work through your specific challenges, drop us a line, we’d love to help out.

And in the meantime, check out, our file and content analytics software, which can help you audit, organize and manage your information.