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Best practices in establishing a records retention department

Can you outline some best practices for re-establishing a records retention department in a mid to large sized enterprise?

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Depending upon why or what is driving your move to establish a records retention department, you may want to form an actual department, or a virtual department made up of team members representing disaster recovery (DR) and business continuance (BC), legal, security, applications and database groups along with someone representing storage concerns among others. Records management like DR and BC are functions that cut across many different groups and departments so a virtual team can be an approach to span different IT and business unit political boundaries and avoid creation of a separate fiefdom. Depending upon your line of business, you may be subject to a variety of different regulations and compliance concerns so certainly having the support and involvement of a compliance officer if one exist is very important.

Start investigating data content and context classification tools that can help you with intelligent information management (IIM), ediscovery including litigation, intellectual property (IP) search, compliance and other functions. Some examples of vendors that specialize in deep content classification and search include Abrevity, Index Engines, Kazeon, Scentric and StoredIQ among others. There are professional groups focused on records management including Association Records of Management and Administrators (ARMA).

This was first published in July 2006

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