2013 | 2014 Information Governance Benchmarking Survey For Life Sciences

Download PDF

A Call for Modernization in Life Sciences

Cohasset Associates is pleased to complement its recently published, eighth biennial survey white paper with this study, borne of industry-specific analyses of the broader survey outcomes. The impetus for this industry study was driven by Iron Mountain and its desire to identify drivers and differences associated with industry practices. This white paper explicitly addresses Life Sciences, contrasting its survey results to the overall survey results, which span many types of organizations. This white paper provides authoritative, up-to-date benchmarking metrics on information lifecycle practices in Life Sciences. You will find:

  • Incisive and comprehensive measures of the current state of information governance (IG) practices.
  • Details on successes, obstacles and opportunities for more effective information lifecycle management.
  • Insightful actions that will modernize information governance to meet today’s challenges.

Survey results provide evidence that:

  • Overall, IG programs are more prevalent, better-designed, and inclusive of electronically stored information (ESI). However, many essential implementation elements are not being addressed.
  • Effective IG is increasingly recognized as an imperative for corporate compliance and risk mitigation. Coordination and integration is on the rise.
  • While improvements are reported in the management of some ESI, information governance must modernize or forever be losing in a game of catch-up.
  • Legal Hold processes are more commonplace, but over-preservation is an immense challenge to the implementation of effective information lifecycle controls, thereby contributing to future risk and complexity.

Get an additional Bonus Report: ‘Six Dial movers: Strengthening Information Governance in the Life Sciences Industry', written by Iron Mountain subject matter experts in Life Sciences and RIM/IG. This Industry Brief provides expert insight into three ‘big takeaways’ and six potential ‘dial movers’ from the 2013-2014 Life Sciences Industry Information Governance Benchmarking Survey to help you.


Survey Overview and Research Methodology

Survey Overview

Modern Records and Information Management (RIM) programs are evolving through formal relationships with information governance (IG) disciplines. This in-depth study of the state of RIM and IG specifically pertains to Life Sciences – identifying its strengths and opportunities.

With the industry-specific knowledge, presented in these survey results, you can:

  • Assess the state of your organization's records and information management programs, as well its broader disciplines of information governance
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and measure your progress against the outcomes identified by both your industry peers and by those from All Organizations participating in the survey
  • Develop communications that highlight your program's accomplishments and its opportunities for improvement
  • Formulate an action plan for modernizing your program, by leveraging the recommended actions presented in the survey highlights

Research Methodology

Thanks To: Cohasset Associates wishes to express its appreciation to Iron Mountain for identifying the need for these industry-specific measures and for its financial support.

Gratitude also is extended to the over 1,400 participants, completing this year's survey and to ARMA International and AIIM for co-sponsoring the survey.

The research was conducted using a web-based survey tool. Over 1,400 survey responses were received between November 2013 and February 2014. The 2013 | 2014 biennial white paper reflects the initial 1,300 survey responses. The metrics in this white paper are based on the over 100 responses from Life Sciences, as a subset of over 1,400 total responses received. The invitees included:

  • ARMA International members
  • AIIM members
  • Recent attendees of Cohasset Associates' Managing Electronic Records (MER) Conference
  • Iron Mountain customers
  • Records Management LISTSERV members

Authors

Carol Stainbrook is the Executive Director of Cohasset Associates’ consulting practice – overseeing the development of practical records management and information governance solutions. With over 20 years of experience consulting on information lifecycle governance, Ms. Stainbrook possesses a comprehensive understanding of the legal, compliance, and business implications of managing information. Several of her clients include winners of ARMA International’s Cobalt Award – which annually recognized one company for outstanding excellence in records and information management. Ms. Stainbrook is widely known for her informative educational presentations, as well as her insightful thought leadership. Ms. Stainbrook led the research, analysis and writing of the Cohasset Associates | ARMA International | AIIM Information Governance Benchmarking Survey.

Marcy Zweerink, PhD. is a Principal Consultant with Cohasset Associates where, for the last decade, she has focused on developing practical records management strategies and governance to achieve business goals. Her career with Cohasset follows 23-years with a major pharmaceutical company where she was responsible for information governance – the policies, programs, and underlying technologies. Dr. Zweerink leads Cohasset’s Assured Records Management practice – a pioneering, structured methodology for creating awareness and alignment so organizations can deliver actionable electronic records management. Dr. Zweerink is also a noted speaker on cutting edge information governance issues/topics and has authored numerous scientific publications.

Karen S. Knight is a Senior Consultant with Cohasset Associates. Ms. Knight has been in Corporate Compliance for the past 20 years and first assumed responsibility for corporate Records and Information Management programs in 1999, working in both the domestic and global arenas. She has led the development and implementation of RIM and Legal Hold programs, which have included governance policies, standards, training and retention schedules. Recognizing the legal risks of managing information, Ms. Knight has ensured coordination between the records management and information governance disciplines. Her additional governance responsibilities have included privacy, social media and data breach prevention.

Survey Highlights

These Survey Highlights summarize the overall results, recommending actions for modernizing information governance. The four survey highlights and their respective implementation actions are detailed in this section, along with key benchmarking data from the survey. Respond to information governance opportunities by using this section to formulate industry-specific internal action plans and to develop communications highlighting your program's strengths and opportunities.

Survey Highlight Reccomended Actions
Overall, IG programs are more prevalent, better-designed, and inclusive of ESI. However, many essential implementation elements are not being addressed. Compare the maturity of foundational IG program components to modern practices and create a plan to address program gaps
Define an overarching IG implementation strategy that aligns implementation outcomes to business priorities
Commit to ongoing communication, training and change management for all executives and employees
Use meaningful metrics to monitor, report and improve implementation results
Effective IG is increasingly recognized as an imperative for corporate compliance and risk mitigation. Coordination and integration is on the rise. Align the cross-functional IG steering committee with risk management, compliance and other internal governance practices, and engage these executives in the IG implementation strategy
Leverage compliance and risk management relationships and processes
While improvements are reported in the management of some ESI, information governance must modernize or forever be losing in a game of catch-up. Refine the implementation strategy to modernize the approach to lifecycle controls for ESI
Incorporate IG with application/system development and decommissioning
Apply IG practices to disaster recovery media
Define IG practices for newer storage locations and information types
Leverage content analytics tools for management, retention and deletion of ESI
Legal Hold processes are more commonplace, but over-preservation is an immense challenge to the implementation of effective information lifecycle controls, thereby contributing to future risk and complexity. Coordinate with Legal to terminate legal holds when matters are resolved
Work with Legal, Information Technology and the business areas to improve the precision of preservation actions

Download the pdf version