Information Governance

How to Talk About Information Governance This Holiday Season

Tips and tricks on how to broach the controversial subject

Tips and tricks on how to broach the controversial subject

With the holidays right around the corner, many of us are taking time off to enjoy the company of friends and family. We’re looking forward to some well-earned vacation time, but we’re also anticipating the difficult, and sometimes controversial, conversations we’ll have with our aunts and uncles, parents and siblings. Family gatherings can be tense and tempers sometimes flare, so I’m here to help you navigate your family’s precarious stance on one of those classic hot-button topics: information governance. After all, the holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, so let’s use this space to learn how to grease the wheels of delicate conversation.

Since this is definitely, without a doubt, the most controversial topic you’ll cover with your family over the next few weeks, it’s important to be gracious and diplomatic. Here’s an example of how that can be accomplished in the face of adversity:

Family Member: “I really don’t get why anyone would need an ‘email archive’. You are wasting space in one environment just to save space in another.”

You: “That’s an interesting point, ________ (insert relative’s name here), and I can definitely see why people would think that. Actually, the term ‘email archive’ is no longer adequate to describe all of the functions that those platforms now perform. Most companies now use them to capture and control many types of unstructured data – meaning things like social media posts, instant messages, Word documents, and emails, among others. They then harness that data to fulfill a business need, whether it’s meeting regulatory requirements, cutting costs in eDiscovery, or gaining insight into productivity and personnel with an analytical model. In fact, between the cost of storage and the rise of the Cloud, very few organizations use their archives for storage management primarily. A new year is a great opportunity to re-examine your company’s current use of its archiving platform and ensure you’re getting the most out of it, ________ (insert same relative’s name here).

Now, how about those Cubs?!?”

A few key concepts to remember:

  1. Don’t let your differing stances on archiving tear you apart. In the grand scheme of things, information governance is incredibly important, yes, but family is more important.
  2. Keep your expectations in check. Do you have an intelligent and carefully considered position on archiving? Yes, of course you do, but not everyone has your incredible level of insight and it is important to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Keep the tone light. As we discussed previously, archiving can really get people riled up. It may help the conversation along to work in less polarizing topics, such as movies, sports, or politics.

I work to assist organizations in both the public and private sectors tackle issues of information management in the most secure and economic ways possible. My goal is to see every ZL customer get the most out of our solution, and use my experiences to help keep ZL’s software on the cutting edge. I draw from my background in politics and economics to maintain a fresh outlook on the industry, and exercise my analytical muscles using my healthy obsession with basketball statistics.