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Records and Information Management Versus Information Governance

What is the difference between RIM and IG?

Records and Information Management (RIM) and Information Governance (IG) are two terms or concepts that still confuse many people. There are those who state they need Information Governance rather than Records and Information Management. Others insist that RIM and IG are two entirely different fields.

However, the truth is that both are merely different stages of the process of managing records and information.

In 2011, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) working group and ARMA International published a whitepaper discussing the challenges of technology and lawsuits as they relate to the discovery phase. It was in this whitepaper that the term ‘Information Governance’ first appeared.

The paper recommended an e-discovery workflow process called the “Information Governance Reference Model” (IGRM), which has now been adopted as the industry standard.

Defining Information Governance

Information Governance or IG is simply speaking, the process of handling information correctly to maintain its integrity and credibility while creating accountability.

Information Governance as defined by ARMA , is a:

“strategic, cross-disciplinary framework composed of standards, processes, roles, and metrics that hold organizations and individuals accountable for the proper handling of information assets. Information governance helps organizations achieve business objectives, facilitates compliance with external requirements, and minimizes risk posed by sub-standard information-handling practices.”

Where IG Converges with Records and Information Management

RIM is essentially the foundational activity that precedes IG. For the technical nature of IG to be implemented certain foundations must be set. These include:

  • Record Identification. You cannot govern records with IG if you do not know what records you have.
  • Record Location. Where are your records and data located? Normally stored by RIM professionals in a data map and a file plan.
  • Record Retention Schedule. This answers the question, “When can I dispose of my records.“
  • Records Ownership, Access and Maintenance. This information is kept by Records and Information Management specialists in their access control files.

Thus, as Information Governance wrestles with the challenges of security, privacy, data analytics, machine learning and AI as they relate to the transition from file rooms to data centres, RIM continues to lay the foundations of this transition.

When it comes to the management of your organisation’s data and records, RIM and IG are the key collaborative efforts that will ensure your success or lead to its failure. Having a strong Records Manager and a team of RIM and IG experts can make all the difference.

Involving a Records Management partner such as Iron Mountain is like having an extra team of professionals.

Partnering with Iron Mountain South Africa

As a leading records and information management company, Iron Mountain is positioned to offer quality records and information management solutions ranging from records storage to digital transformation, secure shredding and data storage.

Contact Iron Mountain today to find out about the right solutions for your organisation and enjoy greater peace of mind.


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