According to a 2004 survey of records managers conducted by Cohasset Associates for the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) and Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA), overall confidence levels in business’ ability to manage electronic records are low.
Thirty-three percent of records managers surveyed say they are ‘‘not confident at all,’’ while 29 percent report being ‘‘slightly confident’’ that their organizations could prove their electronic records are accurate, reliable, and trustworthy—as required by the courts to be accepted as evidence—years after they were created.
Overall, survey respondents rated the effectiveness of their organizations’ records management programs as ‘‘marginal’’ (18 percent) or ‘‘fair’’ (23 percent)—negative evaluations that have increased 32 percent over the past four years. Survey researchers attribute the lack of confidence to a growing realization among records managers that electronic business records are not being managed as successfully as traditional records. 
IM Rule # 24: Retain only business record instant messages. Delete messages that are personal or lack value as business records.
Ann Bednarz, ‘‘Electronic Records Policies Lacking, Firms Say,’’ Network World Fusion (March 12, 2004), www.nw fusion.com/news/2004/0312records.html.