And people thought our industry was dull?  Who would have thought that mainstream reporters in print and visual media outlets would spend the week talking about something as dull as metadata? 

When you have celebrities like Rush Limbaugh spending an entire show talking about the bits and bytes that make up our world of document imaging that consists of paper and electronic records, then I guess you could say we have arrived!

I’ll bet there were more than a few C-level corporate executives that held meetings with their Boards and senior management teams this week grilling their IT staffs on how their companies are protecting the information they thought was sitting securely in protected infrastructure environments that assured them nobody could get access to their data unless they were authorized and approved per corporate process and procedures.

What an awakening the world got this week when a rogue consultant, Edward Snowden, working for Booz Allen Hamilton on sensitive National Security Agency computers, turned the world’s attention to what happens when the wrong people have access to critical information.

This article is not intended to make light of a very serious issue.  In fact, just the opposite!  We hope this international incident, whether you think Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor, creates a heightened environment and discussion on how companies and organizations are handling their paper and electronic records in today’s complex world.

How is your organization handling information?

How are you training and preparing your employees to process the ever-increasing amount of electronic information that flows through your organization every 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year?

AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management ( provides a wealth of information (no pun intended) on the technologies and process improvements that companies and organizations must be focused on as we transition from a paper-based society to one that controls every aspect of our personal and business lives via electronic media and systems that house critical and confidential information that must be protected at all costs.

Just listen to what is being said about this security leak on the radio and television, and consider how much information has fallen into the wrong hands.  The world is now aware of sensitive information gathering and repositories that are the subject of conversations from the water cooler to the White House.  Social media sites are abuzz and the term – metadata – is now on the lips and in the minds of everyone!

Take advantage of this moment in your company and organization to have serious discussions about how you are handling your paper and electronic records.  How are you capturing, indexing (metadata and taxonomy), managing and distributing this information.

According to AIIM:

  • Progress toward the “Paperless Office” is slow. For 42% of organizations, the volume of paper records is still increasing.
  • Effective information governance is crippled by poor training. Only 16% regularly train all staff. 31% do no training at all.
  • Senior management is ignoring the risks. 31% of respondents report that poor electronic record keeping is causing problems with regulators and auditors. 14% are incurring fines or bad publicity.
  • IT is losing its ability to transform business. For a third of organizations, 90% of IT spend adds no new value.
  • Emails are acknowledged as records, but the filing systems are chaotic. 73% include email in their retention policies, but most rely on manual methods to file them.
  • Social content management is not even on the radar. Less than 15% of organizations are even trying to include social postings in their retention schedules.
  • 45% of organizations plan to increase their records management spend over the next two years. In particular, automated classification is set for strong growth, along with enterprise search, RM modules, E-discovery and email management.

[/checklist] Do we have your attention now?  What is your company talking about this week?  I’ll bet there are more than a few conversations about Edward Snowden, security, information leaks, protection of your paper and electronic records and who has access to them and what your company or organization is going to do to protect them.

Let the information management professionals at CTI, who have been protecting corporate documents for twenty years, provide you with the education, guidance and systems that will protect your metadata!