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White Papers

Another Year on the ILM Journey
UK and Irish Businesses take the antidote to regulations
By: Quocirca
Published: March 2007
Logo for Quocirca

Another Year on in the ILM Journey UK and Irish Businesses take the antidote to regulations Quocirca conducted two surveys separated by 12 months that looked at the data management infrastructure of UK and Irish businesses and how this was linked to their ability to respond to the whims of the regulators. In the year between the two surveys a lot had changed.

  • In the 12 months since Quocirca's first ILM survey the perceptions of UK and Irish businesses with regard to information management and regulatory compliance have changed considerably This change is generally for the better and indicates a genuine move by businesses, especially those in the UK, to improve their data management infrastructure. This conclusion can be drawn having eliminated creeping complacency as a possible false indicator of progress
  • There is a strong correlation between a drop off in activity to improve information management capabilities and increased confidence around the understanding of data management infrastructure This increase in confidence implies that activity undertaken and now completed, has been its cause. If the drop off in activity was due to complacency an increase in confidence would not be expected
  • • This finding is less marked amongst Irish companies than UK ones. Whilst there has been progress in the same direction in Ireland, it seems to be diluted by some complacency Irish businesses have failed to make the same strides in confidence about their understanding of their data management infrastructure, have matured their thinking about compliance less than their UK peers and they are more inclined to believe further action is required to improve their data management infrastructure
  • These improvements are achieving the desired results: The approaches taken by UK and Irish businesses around compliance are maturing; this is also seen across all industries with the exception of healthcare The organisations surveyed reported an overall increase in the way their data management process took into account the difference between legal and regulatory compliance. The only area where there was a decrease was in healthcare, where increasing litigation is likely to be blurring the boundaries
  • In 2005, changing regulations were forcing more organisational change on businesses and this was costly of both time and money. By 2006 the requirement to change was less This was noticeable across most industries and especially in Ireland. The exception again was healthcare where regulation was still considered to be forcing business change
  • Some findings are unsurprising, such as continued data growth, whilst others, such as an increase in the regularity of the review of disaster recovery plans are reassuring Some industries, such as retail, public sector and industrial reported massive growth in data volumes since 2005, although there is likely to be some over reporting. UK businesses in particular have improved their contingency for disaster recovery

CONCLUSION: Overall the changes made by IT departments in the 12 months from autumn 2005 to autumn 2006 as they continue on their "ILM Journey" are having a positive affect on the businesses they serve Businesses that are confident that they can respond adequately to changing regulations as and when they are imposed are less likely to have to undergo internal restructuring in response. This leaves them freer to focus on their core business activities such as searching for and exploiting new markets and pursuing mergers and acquisitions. This is a good thing for the businesses, the stakeholders who rely on them and the British, Irish, Europe and Global economies to which they make such an important contribution

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