Return on Information - Is It the New ROI?

Topics: Information Management: New Thinking

Information forms the core of every essential business process. When a firm has fast access to it, that data can fuel business development, improve customer service and help you develop operations efficiencies.

Gaining that quick access, while still keeping a growing landslide of information secure requires an investment: You can maximize your ROI, in this case "return on information," by investing in records management best practices.

Managing Information With an Eye on Returns

Successful organizations maximize their ROI by organizing their records information management (RIM) with the potential business value of each type of information asset in mind.

Take the following steps to do the same.

Step 1: Consolidate paper records.

According to AIIM, 42 percent of organizations say their volume of paper is increasing, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary. In some cases, paper records can take up 35 percent of office space, AIIM says. Problems result, including disorganized files and lost paper. And the cost of wasted office space can be surprisingly high: The floor occupied by an ordinary filing cabinet can rent for as much as $1,500 a year.

In addition, many organizations store records among multiple storage vendors. Bringing those records to a single vendor can help cut storage costs (think volume discounts). It also ensures that they're managed under the same set of rules and policies.

Step 2: Get rid of what you don't need.

PwC reports that 36 percent of businesses keep all of their information just in case they need it. That said, there's an excellent chance your company keeps a great deal of records unnecessarily. This practice can open up your company up to greater liability during legal discovery, since anything you retain is discoverable.

If, however, an organization had a records retention schedule, it could reduce storage costs by 30 percent, according to research done by Duke Law School. In fact, that research also indicates that 71 percent of companies could reduce their information volumes.

Step 3: Keep retention schedules up to date.

A records retention schedule categorizes documents according to their statutory retention periods.

Regulations and laws—and therefore, retention rules—change. Choose the retention approach that best suits your company's needs. Sometimes, that means a one-size-fits all plan. However, it can also call for an exception-based strategy that recognizes individual and unique requirements, while also reducing the complexity of an individual retention schedule for different stakeholders within an organization. For best results, consider automating as much of the process as possible.

Step 4: Create a global classification scheme.

Classify all your records, using tags to identify record type, date generated, access authorization and other identifiers. Being as granular as possible makes it easier to follow retention schedules. It also helps you find the most accurate and relevant information for mining new business opportunities, remaining competitive and operating more efficiently.

When an organization works with a trusted partner to ensure that its information delivers a tangible return, it can save money, deliver more accurate information and ensure more secure document management. By doing so, it also avoids the potential for a multimillion loss from a breach.

Call it the new ROI, or just good business. Either way, you're talking about a strategy that makes sense.

Do you have questions about records and information management? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain's Information Management team. You'll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.


Records Management Solution Brief
Records Management Solution Brief

Topics: Govern Information

With Iron Mountain Records Management services, you'll have the resources you need to effectively store and safeguard your information assets, and make them easily accessible to individuals across your organization.