I would like to bring your readers’ attention to the fact that the raft of new legislative and regulatory demands is causing construction firms to store massive amounts of data without due regard as to whether they actually need it.

Directors are understandably flummoxed by conflicting directives, and although the tendency is to err on the side of caution, there are distinct disadvantages to keeping every document, letter and email – not least in the amount of money required to keep purchasing servers to store electronic data.

The problem is deciding what to destroy: is the information relevant to current business functions? Do staff need access to this information? Is it going to help the business if it is stored electronically? What happens if it isn’t stored electronically? Do we legally need to retain this information for a defined period of time?

It’s essential that directors of construction firms take compliance issues seriously. It can be dangerous to keep everything, but it’s also impractical to keep everything in an electronic format. Effective information management will ensure that servers are not clogged up with useless information, help prepare the business for the inevitable exponential increase in data volumes in the future, and ensure the company is safe from litigation.

Liz Maloney, Hummingbird UK