Survey Uncovers Market Trends, Obstacles in Information Management

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2009 Forrester Research and ARMA International Records Management Survey Results Point to Uncertain Budgets, Increasing Risks

Your records manager is nervous. According to a survey conducted by Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) in conjunction with ARMA International, very few records managers express high e-discovery confidence. Barely 20 percent of records management decision makers report they are "very confident" that, if challenged, their organization could demonstrate their electronically stored information (ESI) is accurate, accessible, and trustworthy.

Effective records and retention management programs play a big role in mitigating legal risk caused by more regulations and legal discovery of ESI. In 2010, more than half of records management (RM) stakeholders expect to expand their technology deployments. Yet stakeholders also describe a changing and complex market, including vendor and budget uncertainty, low satisfaction with current solutions, plans to expand content types under retention management, new certifications, e-discovery concerns, and internal organizational changes. The upshot? Records management professionals must master a complex set of issues in the face of growing legal, financial, and reputation risks.

Other key findings in the Forrester Research and ARMA International Records Management Online Survey, Q3 2009 include:

  • 56 percent of records management stakeholders plan to ramp up software spending in 2010. More than half of RM decision makers are expecting to deploy additional licenses or to pilot or implement new products. It's clear records management is an important priority for organizations.
  • More than 26 percent of records management decision makers report they are "very confident" in their ability to meet privacy requirements, and 45 percent stated they were "somewhat confident."
  • Despite the need for integrating retention management functionality to a broader array of ESI and the critical need to synchronize e-discovery, archiving, and records management applications, in 36 percent of organizations, records management stakeholders are not included in the IT strategic planning process.
  • More than 80 percent of records management decision makers use technology applications for physical records management. This figure dramatically decreases for ESI.
  • Enforcement is still a weak spot for organizations as it pertains to their retention policies for ESI. Only about half of the survey participants use any type of technology solution to enforce retention policies for file shares, desktops, or other electronic assets. Remarkably, only 63 percent of records management stakeholders currently leverage technology to enforce retention management for e-mail.

The September 2009 Forrester Research report, ''Records Management: User Expectations, Market Trends, And Obstacles,'' authored by Forrester senior analyst Brian W. Hill, reviews survey findings and provides recommendations for organizations as they face complex regulatory environments, greater e-discovery challenges, and uncertain budgets.

ARMA members can download a copy of the report at . Members of the media can contact Forrester's press office (press(at)forrester(dot)com) for a courtesy copy of the report.

About ARMA International
ARMA International ( is a not-for-profit professional association and the authority on records and information management. Formed in 1955, ARMA International is the oldest and largest association for the records and information management profession with a current international membership of more than 10,000. It provides education, publications, and information on the efficient maintenance, retrieval, and preservation of vital information created in public and private organizations in all sectors of the economy. It also publishes Information Management magazine.


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Ashley Flynn
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