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Export Regulations I-SIGMA Emerging as a Community for All RIM Services

By Bob Johnson
On July 1, 2018, PRISM International and NAID official merged to become i-SIGMA, creating the largest trade association of information management and security service providers in the world.

And while big (or bigger) is not always better, after eight months of assimilation the benefits of merger are already apparent.

And what is more, i-SIGMA is show signs it will emerge from the merger as a global community of vendors who are better able to promote the high ethics and operating standards and help clients use members’ services to meet their compliance and security requirements.

According to i-SIGMA Co-President Angie Singer Keating, creating i-SIGMA would have been impossible if not for the quality of its building blocks.

“PRISM International brought a respected and enviable 38-year track record in records and information management to the equation,” said Keating. “While NAID came to the table with a proven ability to develop successful programs and an ambitious management team. It’s why the early results of the merger point so clearly to its early success.”

The decision to use i-SIGMA as an umbrella organization, keeping NAID and PRISM International as the outward facing brands help speed up integration and execution.

According to Christopher Jones, the other i-SIGMA Co-President, it was important the branding be more than cosmetic.

“We knew from the start the both PRISM International and NAID needed to have service providers dedicated to meaningful representation,” said Jones. “To ensure that, each division has a Leadership Committee responsible to make sure the larger organization remains focused on the needs of its constituents we wrote the requirement into the bylaws.”

With the support of the i-SIGMA board and clear vision for what we wanted to achieve, the new organization hit the ground running.

Added Subject Matter Expertise: In October, Gail Bisbee was selected from a short list of highly-regarded professionals to bring records management services expertise into the i-SIGMA management team. As a result, PRISM International members now have one of the world foremost authorities in records and information management to guide the association and address their questions.

Formed PRISM PRIVACY+ Certification Committee: The first step in advancing PRISM’s PRIVACY+ Certification, the division took a page from NAID by creating a committee specifically focused on improving and advancing the program. The change comes amid signs that recognition for the program is already growing. In the past 6 months, PRIVACY+ Certifications has added a half dozen members to its ranks, including locations in India and Saudi Arabia.

Local and Global Advocacy: It’s been said that “timing is everything.” It just so happens that the merger creating i-SIGMA coincided with the wave of data protection regulations across the U.S. and around the world. There is no doubt that the combined resources of NAID and PRISM International, not to mention the combined brain-power, will allow the organization to better represent members’ interests. As a result, the future of RIM service and data destruction have a bright future and will factor heavily in upcoming legislation.

Folding the Data Protection Association (DPA) into i-SIGMA: There could be no better testimony to the viability and benefits of the i-SIGMA community of service providers, than the decision by the Data Protection Association Board of Directors to roll into the new organization. More than the added resources and more than the added numbers, it indicates the appeal of an organization with the resources and credibility to project a united front to customers and regulators, and the power and credibility that comes with it.

Exciting Future

Of course, the real test of the merger’s success is how it resonates with service providers.

Here the news is good too.

The organizations’ respective memberships and certifications continue to grow. The upcoming 2019 Conference and Expo in Denver on pace to be among the largest in the organization’s history. At this point in time, close to 200 member representatives actively participate in the various boards and committees that make it run.

Only time will tell if i-SIGMA realizes its full potential. Luckily, all the early signs clearly point to the fact that it will.

Bob Johnson is the CEO of i-SIGMA. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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