According to IBM, every day people create an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data (that\u2019s 2.5 followed by 18 zeros!). More than 60% of corporate data is unstructured, according to AIIM, and a significant amount of this unstructured data is in the form of non-traditional \u201crecords,\u201d like text and social media messages, audio files, video, and images. Not only does unstructured data often go unused\u2014a Deloitte survey found that only about 18% of businesses can take advantage of it\u2014but it also leaves heavily regulated enterprises vulnerable to regulatory infractions, fines, and even criminal penalties.\n\nSince the introduction of notable data privacy and human rights acts, like GDPR in 2016 and the CCPA in 2018, privacy regulations worldwide have continued to develop aggressively. With multiple states and countries pursuing their own regulations, now more than ever businesses must ensure their data\u2019s safety, security, and legitimacy when it is used, stored, or destroyed.\n\nThe answer for many businesses has been automation, with countless large and highly regulated organizations turning to automation software to even the content management and compliance playing field. Companies from all industries worldwide continue to increase investments in BPM\/Workflow, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI), and accelerate operational transformations to automate and make data governance more agile to keep up with the exponential growth of incoming information.\n\nFor businesses looking to reap the benefits of automation, leveraging these three best practices can help ensure the adoption of an effective and profitable automated records management and compliance operation.\n\n1. Identify where automation can help\n\nFor some companies, the thought of AI and RPA can seem futuristic and intimidating. However, these innovative tools have been around for decades and are highly applicable and available. Still, organizations must take a full and honest inventory of their current processes before investing in these tools. This will help decision-makers better understand current operations and more accurately identify which areas of operation are good candidates for automation.\n\n2. Automate gaps where automation has not been applied\n\nOne of the overarching goals when integrating automation into operations is to do away with as many manual processes as humanly possible so workers can stop working on mundane tasks and focus on value-added activities. While many organizations adopt process automation to support specific workflows or departmental duties, replicating automation software from one area to other applications to perform manual processes will reduce employee workloads and take operational efficiency to the next level.\n\n3. Adopt continuous auditing and analytics\n\nData must be monitored and governed throughout its entire lifecycle. By implementing continuous auditing and analytics, businesses can ensure that no data slips through the cracks and goes unmonitored. Constantly flagging and eliminating obsolete, redundant, unused, and ungoverned data reduces compliance risk, enhances efficiencies, and lowers storage costs.\n\nAutomation swiftly empowers organizations to respond to the growing needs for data security and compliance. Learn more about how Rocket Content Services can help you leverage automation in your data governance needs.