Leader: Living with info overload

There's no end in sight - so deal with it now...
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

There's no end in sight - so deal with it now...

The recent news that police officers have been caught sending offensive images via email is not altogether surprising. The offending messages were found after an audit of a million messages, and as much as we hate to admit it, if all organisations underwent a similar audit it's likely they'd find some similarly unpleasant material.

The Merseyside force does seem a bit behind the times, as in response to the incident it said it now has "new policies in place to prevent this kind of behaviour in the future". One would have hoped all organisations - having used email for such a long time - would have already thought of implementing such policies.

Still, though email misuse is nothing new, the incident underscores the bigger issue of information management, which is turning out to be quite a concern for both IT departments and end users - perhaps one of the biggest over the next decade and beyond.

The issue is not only how to monitor digital communications to make sure they're appropriate and in line with corporate policy but also how to search and archive the millions of emails we send and documents we create each day.

IT managers in financial services companies admit their email and document management systems aren't capable of dealing with the strain caused by the load of regulations coming down the pipe.

And it's not just the regulation-heavy financial sector that's affected - it's every organisation, as all have users who need to manipulate and access their stores of data.

There's no end in sight for information overload so, as unsexy as it is, managing our bits and bytes must be addressed sooner rather than later - we've lost count of how many times execs have told us 'data is our business' most important asset'.

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