It’s not your imagination — keeping your records and information management program in compliance is becoming more difficult.

A recent Access survey of records and information management professionals revealed that maintaining regulatory/privacy compliance is a challenge that has only continued to grow. At the same time, nearly 40% of survey respondents listed budget restrictions as a top challenge that’s slowing their progress toward reaching their RIM goals. Consequentially, budget restrictions are forcing RIM professionals to adhere to regulations with fewer staff members and other limitations.

As regulators start to levy more and more fines, the price of noncompliance is clear. Therefore, it’s imperative that RIM professionals understand the intersection between compliance and budget pressure and put strategies in place for meeting goals while staying within budget.

Factors Influencing Compliance and Budget in RIM

There are a number of factors that influence compliance and budget when it comes to RIM, with the most prominent being people, risk, and technology.


A RIM program will only be effective if employees adhere to it. Nearly one-third of survey respondents said that having sufficient staff, RIM expertise, or resources available was one of their top RIM challenges.


Every organization’s appetite for risk is different. When it comes to security, 80% of survey respondents reported that security is very or critically important to meeting goals this coming year.

Understanding where your organization’s security is most at risk is necessary when identifying areas of improvement, allowing you to reduce costs while still maintaining compliance.


Investments in document repositories, retention solutions, and other RIM solutions are a necessity when trying to maintain compliance. However, balancing the budgets for multiple tools can be difficult.

Survey respondents indicated that auto-classification and/or auto-indexing services and tools will be the most expected new investment for records managers, with a 10% growth year over year (22% vs 32%).

Strategies for Balancing Compliance and Budget in RIM

Organizations should consider selecting appropriate software, reassessing risk management, uplifting security protocols, and training staff on those protocols, as well as implementing cost-cutting measures in order to balance both compliance and budget goals effectively— without sacrificing one for the other.

Here are some strategies for managing people, risk, and technology against a budget:

Selecting Appropriate Software:

Organizations should select software that fulfills their needs end-to-end and offers competitive pricing, flexibility, and leading-edge technologies such as AI-powered autoclassification or autoindexing.

Reassessing Risk Management:

Implementing effective risk management strategies can proactively minimize the likelihood of costly incidents such as data breaches, operational disruptions, or regulatory non-compliance penalties. This way, your organization can protect its assets while optimizing resource allocation.

Uplifting Security Protocols and Training:

With staffing and expertise being at a premium, it’s very important to involve the whole organization in managing information properly.

Implementing Cost-Cutting Measures:

Cost-cutting measures can be divided into two buckets: automation and consolidation. Automating business processes or outsourcing certain tasks can help reduce costs while still ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, and standards. Meanwhile, consolidating your records management providers can reduce the number of technologies your team is managing and also reduce the overall effect on the bottom line.

Closing Thoughts

Organizations face uncertainty as to whether their current RIM practices are adequate to keep up with their competition and meet future challenges. 41% surveyed say they’re uncertain if their investment in RIM is enough to keep up with their competition, while another 17% are confident that they’re not investing enough.

Having a modern, leading-edge RIM program plays a key part in developing or maintaining a competitive edge.

Balancing these goals against a budget is a necessary challenge. By balancing compliance with budget concerns, RIM leaders can ensure they’re using the right strategies to institute controls within their RIM operations that lead to improved efficiency and profitability overall.

For a deeper dive into the full survey of RIM professionals, check out our 2023 State of the RIM Industry Report. Inside, you’ll read about even more challenges, key trends, top priorities, and planned investments for 2023 and beyond!