IT firms lack policies to destroy files


9 Feb 2005

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Some 80pc of Irish IT companies have no policy in place for the safe and secure destruction of documents compared with an Irish average of 62pc, according to a survey by DMG Services. Alarmingly for a sector concerned about privacy, copyright, intellectual property and eventually digital rights management, only 28pc of IT companies believe that their documents are completely secure.

This is more of an issue for smaller companies across all sectors with 79pc admitting that they have no policy in place.

Out of the sectors that were surveyed, finance companies and public sector bodies fared the best with 60pc and 44pc respectively admitting that they have a written policy when it comes to destroying documents.

According to the DMG survey, which covered more than 100 companies across a number of verticals, IT companies are least likely to have a written document retention policy, with only 44pc stating they had one. More than 53pc of Irish companies are storing documents indefinitely and 37pc have no written policy in place on the length of time they need to store documentation.

Some 27pc of Irish companies strongly agree that their approach to document storage poses potential security risks for the company and 37pc of Irish companies agree that their approach to document storage has caused a considerable time drain looking for old documents in the past.

Companies have limited formal policies in place when it comes to disposing of documentation. Companies are also giving over significant amounts of office space to storing documents indefinitely which undoubtedly is adding to costs,” said Cecil Ryan, managing director of DMG Services.

In terms of recycling, seven out of 10 companies in the IT sector claim to recycle their waste documents. In terms of the proportion of documents recycled, approximately six in 10 IT companies claimed to recycle in excess of 30pc of documents.

The highest proportion of documents recycled was amongst public sector bodies at 75pc.

“Changes in corporate governance, data protection and legislation have highlighted that Irish companies must secure and dispose of their documents in a safe and secure manner. Companies will be left exposed if they do not start adhering to best practice with their destruction policies,” Ryan warned.

By John Kennedy