For many years information governance failed to achieve many of its goals primarily because document classification, which is the necessary first step in nearly all IG initiatives, has proven difficult to achieve on an enterprise scale. No more. 2015 marks the beginning of a whole new era.
People involved in information governance have long known at a high level what they need to do to manage their documents, i.e.,
- Classify them.
- Remove non-records.
- Apply granular retention schedules.
- Provide meaningful search functionality.
- Restrict access to sensitive documents to those who need them.
- Dispose of at the end of the retention period.
Where initiatives have stalled out is in the initial classification phase upon which all major initiatives depend. Each major classification alternative has had serious drawbacks:
Author classification. Author classification has generally proven to be unworkable. Many authors can’t or won’t classify their documents and even when they do, inconsistencies make the resultant classifications virtually worthless for many purposes.
Text-Restricted Technology. Text-based classification technology is, by definition, restricted to documents with accurate textual representations of the document contents. However, in many major corporations a large share of the documents do not have any associated text or have only poor-quality text. This leaves many documents invisible and unclassifiable under a text-restricted approach.
Even on the portion of documents that have accurate textual representations, text-based classification can involve lengthy, expensive project launch cycles with armies of consultants required to manage the process. And perhaps worse, because document types morph or change over time, often at the rate of 10-15% per year, there is literally no end in sight to the use of expensive consultants to try to hold the system together.
Solution for 2015
Finally, there a proven, practical, and scalable technology that classifies all of an organizations documents, whether or not they have quality textual representations. That technology is visual classification. By simplifying document classification it puts you in the drivers seat for achieving numerous IG initiatives, e.g., file share remediation, content migration, archive digitization, silo consolidation, and many more.
Because visual classification bases its classifications on the visual appearance of documents, not their text values per se, it is able to consistently classify even documents that don’t have any associated text or that have poor-quality textual representations. The clustering is automatic and scales to classify content from the largest corporations and organizations. Once documents are clustered and classified, basic tasks become much more manageable, e.g., deciding if they need to be retained, what to call them, where to store them, what retention period to assign, who can have access, what attributes to extract, and when disposition can occur.
If you’d like to find out how visual classification can help your organization meet its priority IG needs, contact IGDoneRight@BeyondRecognition.net.