A recent conversation with a client showed how a lack of a solid partnership and relationship with IT is sabotaging their information governance efforts. This client has a multi-year plan to deploy a legal and compliance archive in order to preserve a portion of their data assets. The first phase of the plan is to start cleaning up legacy content and defensibly delete what they don’t need, which they estimate to be over 50% of what is currently stored on their networks.
IT owns the platforms that store the content that legal needs access to and all activity related to this data must be coordinated with the network managers. This process has become a bottleneck to deployment and has delayed the project significantly. Gartner states that “most CLOs, 76%, say that IT department support for the legal department is ad hoc. Only 16% report dedicated IT support”. (Gartner, Chief Legal Officers Need Better Partnerships With IT: Gartner ALM CLO Survey Results, French Caldwell | Debra Logan ,March 2012). Without a strategic relationship between the two organizations, the already fragile connection legal has with IT will cause information governance projects to fail. Since legal owns policy and IT owns the data networks, it is key that these organizations partner and commit to supporting such a strategic project.
The successful projects we have seen are where senior legal and IT resources have a strategic partnership with a joint goal of managing information assets according to policy and controlling risk and liability via deployment of an information governance framework. Without this level of commitment these projects will continue to flounder.