Governance Gauge: Beware the Weaknesses in Content Compliance

A study conducted by the Business Performance Management Forum reveals enterprise compliance weaknesses.

Although the majority of chief executives confirm they've been paying more attention to compliance issues over the past six years, less than half of IT executives consider compliance a critical initiative with full management support. This is just one of many findings pointing to big disconnects in "CEE the Future: Building the Compliance-Enabled Enterprise," a study conducted by the Business Performance Management Forum, the IT Compliance Institute and Chief Executive Magazine, and sponsored by AXS-One.

Compliance demands around regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have become a top management priority, but many firms are still a long way from developing the IT infrastructure, policies and processes needed to align with compliance objectives. As a result, these companies remain unprepared for a lawsuit, audit or regulatory request.

The study reveals a number of potential weaknesses within corporate technologies and processes:

• Close to half (47 percent) of senior executives are concerned that their companies' failure to effectively archive and manage all electronic content represents a critical liability.

n Only 40 percent of respondents feel their company is effectively enforcing the electronic records management policies in place.

• More than a third (35 percent) of respondents are in the dark as to how much of their IT budget is tied to compliance-related technologies.

• A third of respondents have no corporate policy covering electronic records management.

• Although lawsuits represent a constant threat, more than a third of respondents (36 percent) say their company has no technology or policies in place to manage a legal discovery order involving electronic records.

• Forty-one percent of the respondents say it would take several days to a week or more to retrieve e-mail messages related to a particular transaction. --Penny Crosman