From the beginning, NAID’s relationship with PRISM
International was a natural byproduct of the fact that both
organizations focused on the protection and management
of information during its lifecycle. As a result, many RIM
service providers are members of NAID and PRISM. Both
organizations already cooperate on regulatory advocacy.
They have even held several joint annual conferences over the
years both in North America and Europe.
Of course, in light of such cooperation and overlap, the idea
of merging had occasionally surfaced, leading eventually over
the past several years to earnest negotiations, and ultimately
to the current proposed merger unanimously approved by
Despite the previous mentioned overlap in membership
and purpose, both NAID and PRISM International have long
histories and strong brands. Why merger now?
The answer is easy; efficiency, effectiveness, and timing.
Efficiency: Members deserve to have their money used as
efficiently as possible. This generally translates into spending
less on management in order to spend more on the mission.
The boards of both organizations determined they could
streamline management, eliminating redundancies, thereby
leaving more resources aimed at promoting their common
Effectiveness: With more resources aimed at promoting proper
information management (retention and destruction), its
promotion is likely to be more effective. But it actually goes
much further than that. The merged organization will now
have the records management sector of RIM services and the
data destruction sector of RIM services singing from a single
sheet of music. This harmonization means the combined
organization will be twice as loud; twice as effective.
Timing: Information destruction services and records
management services are mature businesses in most of
the developed world. When PRISM International formed
(originally the Association of Commercial Records Centers)
off-site storage was a relatively new concept. When NAID
was founded, outsourced data destruction was a relatively
unknown concept. In both cases, standalone associations
were perfectly natural. Decades later, third party records
management and outsourced data destruction are accepted
conventions within the business community, both existing as
part of clients overall information security and governance.
As a result, both service benefit by being associated with each
The Boards of NAID and PRISM were careful in their
negotiations to make sure that neither organization lost its
brand recognition. NAID and PRISM International will remain
fixtures in the RIM space. Companies who wish to belong to
one or the other (or to both); will be able to maintain that
affiliation. NAID AAA Certification® and Privacy Plus® will
continue as separate certifications applying to their respective
Organizations offering records management services have
a bright future ahead of them. Data destruction services do
too. Will they have to evolve? Sure. When is that ever not the
case? Does the association who gives them their voice have
to evolve? Sure. When is that ever not the case? The proposed
merger of NAID and PRISM International is simply that
evolutionary process at work. The proposed merger of NAID
and PRISM International is the respective boards of directors
doing their jobs to facilitate what is necessary and, ultimately,
in the best interest of the respective members they serve.
Vote to Ratify
Representatives from eligible member-companies (Active
and Franchise) have been presented with the opportunity to
ratify the NAID Board of Directors unanimous decision to go
forward. Balloting ends May 6, 2018. The PRISM membership
will have an opportunity to ratify shortly afterward.
It is time for both organizations to become a stronger voice
that will be able to more effectively reach a larger audience.
The NAID Board of Directors asks for your support in making
this a reality.