PSS Systems

October 07, 2010 16:45 ET

Survey of Information Governance Practices in Global 1000 Companies Released by CGOC

Reveals Inability to Dispose of Data as Key Pain Point for Legal, IT and Records Stakeholders

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - October 7, 2010) - CGOC, a practitioners' forum focused on retention, legal hold and discovery practices, today released the results of the first-of-its-kind survey of information governance (IG) practices. The survey, Benchmark Report on Information Governance in Global 1000 Companies, was conducted in collaboration with the Information Management Reference Model (IMRM) project within Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). This is the first study to combine legal, IT, and RIM stakeholder perspectives, forming the most complete picture of information governance practices and challenges in Global 1000 companies. Information governance is the discipline of managing information according to its legal obligations and its business value, which enables defensible disposal of data and lowers the cost of legal compliance. The study underscores the challenge in connecting the value of information and the associated legal or regulatory obligations with information assets being managed by the IT team -- virtually all material information in enterprises today.

"This Benchmark Report and the survey results it contains are important tools for legal, records and IT executives who want to improve their information management practices. From our EDRM work, we know that much of the cost, complexity, and volume in litigation are a function of companies' practices and habits in information governance," said George Socha, co-founder, EDRM and president of Socha Consulting. "While I'm not surprised by the findings that data disposal is still out of reach for many companies and that significant organizational challenges exist, they do highlight the important work still to be done to establish rigorous discovery processes that also enable defensible disposal."

The companies surveyed had annual revenue ranging from $5 billion to more than $150 billion from a variety of industries including energy, consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, life sciences, and insurance. With rising ediscovery costs coupled with the fact that organizations spend an average of 3.5% of revenues on data management -- much of which has no legal, regulatory, or business value -- it is not surprising that the survey results show consensus that defensible disposal is the key objective and benefit of information governance. The study highlights the structural, process, and organizational challenges which undermine compliance and disposal efforts. For example:

  • 75% cited inability to defensibly dispose of data as the greatest challenge and many highlighted massive legacy data as a financial drag on the business and a compliance hazard.
  • IT, legal, and records disagree on which organization has information management and disposal responsibility.
  • While 57% of participating organizations have governance committees in place, fewer than 17% believe the right stakeholders are involved.
  • 98% of companies believe defensible disposal is a key governance objective yet only 22% can defensibly dispose of information today.
  • 70% still use 'liaisons and people glue' to link discovery and regulatory obligations to information assets and virtually all respondents enforce quotas on information, leaving them exposed to significant spoliation risk.
  • 85% cited the need for a new approach with new processes and consistent collaboration across legal, records and IT as the critical success factor.
  • The gaps between retention schedule development, legal hold communication and actual information management are wide, suggesting the form of schedule has little relevance in today's information environment -- 77% said their schedules were not actionable on electronic information or applicable only to paper.

"Today, virtually all corporate information is managed by IT in its original form and its many duplicates, yet the survey showed that legal holds and retention management practices still function as if information is simply physical records managed by records personnel and general employees," said Deidre Paknad, founder of CGOC and president and CEO of PSS Systems. "The survey also showed that while legal executives are well aware of the risks, they have yet to bring the CIO to the table. As data volume continues to rise, so does cost and risk -- it's imperative that CIOs and GCs recognize that they share responsibility and invest together in modernizing their information governance practices to enable rigorous compliance and defensible disposal."

The Benchmark Report and tools from EDRM and CGOC are available to these executives and their staffs to:

  • Assess their current programs using a process maturity model
  • Analyze current cost and risk and the potential reduction of both from process improvement
  • Form governance committees with the right stakeholders and galvanize momentum cross functionally
  • Define new cross-functional processes or process improvements that enable more rigorous and efficient discovery and routine, defensible disposal

The CGOC Benchmark Report on Information Governance in Global 1000 Companies is available at

PSS Systems is the charter and founding sponsor of CGOC. Other CGOC sponsors include IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Huron Consulting, LECG, Hunton & Williams, and many others.

About CGOC
CGOC, the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council, is a community of experts in retention, preservation and privacy. Its charter is to create a forum in which legal and compliance executives can get the insight, interaction, and information they need to make good business decisions. Established in 2004, it fills the critical practitioners' gap between EDRM and The Sedona Conference. CGOC offers corporate litigation, discovery, and records management leaders and practitioners with educational seminars, benchmarking surveys, group workshops, an annual Summit and retreat, white papers by expert faculty, a professional networking website, and regional working groups. Membership in the forum is free to qualified executives. Learn more at

About PSS Systems
PSS Systems helps companies eliminate unnecessary legal risk, and discovery and data management costs. Its Atlas Suite is the recognized leader in information governance with customers like Abbott, BASF, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, First Data, GE, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Travelers, and Williams. PSS is the innovator that started the legal holds market in 2004 and has the largest concentration of customers and domain experts anywhere. PSS is a trusted business partner to its customers, offering expert insight, best-in-class software, and continuous innovation to address emerging challenges. PSS founded and sponsors the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC) as a part of its commitment to advancing corporate retention and preservation practices. The company is based in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit

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