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How do you solve this one: 


As I work on documenting company ESI I come up against this maddening roadblock right at the outset that derails my efforts: IT staff refuse to admit that they are, in fact, the support/maintenance person for the applications they have been assigned to support/maintain. I'm not sure how the IT department assigns applications to IT staff but they do, and obviously it doesn't mean much. The IT staff play a game of 'hot potato' with ownership of their role the moment I ask them to confirm that they are the support/admin person.  Many applications officially remain without IT support. I do explain that new laws require us to document and be aware of all our ESI. I explain that retention laws require that we know how old data is so that we can keep it the correct length of time. Hey guess what? Laws make no impression on IT people. So, because I cannot establish the IT support person I cannot proceed to ask them how old the data is, where it lives during various stages of its lifecycle, how/if destruction is done, file formats, copies etc. I also would not be able to, and have probably already failed in, reaching the correct IT people with Legal Hold instructions issued by the Law Department. Imagine what would happen if I had to get IT to produce data from a certain application. With a court-issued deadline.



I have asked an IT person who liaises with Law Dept. (a role that exists because IT is called on enough for litigation and regulatory audit tasks to require a guide through the hall of mirrors that is the IT department) why IT is the wild west when it comes to responsibility for this basic support role. The response is that this is an IT leadership problem that nobody in IT cares about.  So Law Department launched a side project with IT to get IT staff to update the list of company systems/applications every quarter, including the name of the IT staff assigned to the application. This project has already taken a year to develop and may be launched this year, if we're lucky.  

So what does a records manager do? Rocking the boat by trying to get some IT ownership is...ummm....unrewarding.

Maureen Cusack
San Francisco, CA

Windows Live™: Life without walls.
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