Overcoming Records Management Hurdles in the Digital Age
With the rise of digital content and advancements in information technology, records management is often overlooked by organizations as an essential component of their business strategy.
While a well-designed records management program can help drive growth and efficiency in businesses, improper records management can result in litigation and costly repercussions.
Poor records management can harm an organization, halt productivity, waste valuable resources, and cause non-compliance with regulations. To implement a records management program that results in business-enhancing benefits, avoid these major pitfalls:
Common Records Management Challenges in the Digital Age
1) Not Considering the “Big Picture”
Your records management strategy must take a big-picture approach to your business and account for all of your records – whether they are physical or digital. To help companies adapt to the management of records in new technological environments, ISO 15489-1:2016 covers the creation, capture, and management of records, regardless of format, over time. By taking a principles-based approach, ISO 15489-1 offers flexibility in the implementation of systems and policies while protecting the integrity and usability of records, as well as their business context.
2) Storing Records In-House
If you’re like most businesses, you still have physical printed materials. Storing files in-house is costly and takes up office space. Additionally, it increases the risk of lost, misplaced, or misfiled documents. Records often contain sensitive and confidential information about a business, its employees, and its clients. Off-site storage protects your company’s physical and electronic files from theft and natural disasters in a secure, climate-controlled environment.
3) Not Starting Digital Conversion
A large portion of the information managed in the workforce still resides in paper format. A recent report reveals that employees spend 30% of the day searching for information. Paper records are time-consuming to manage and find. Furthermore, documents stored long-term are typically never reaccessed but may require to be kept legally. Save costs and time by combining off-site storage with other document management solutions such as document scanning services to convert physical records to digital formats over time. Additionally, store documents securely in the cloud using document hosting services that deliver digital files to your desktop via the web.
4) Inadequate Control Measures
Control leads to compliance. Levering information collected and stored by organizations can be an incredible asset, driving business growth and productivity. However, if information assets are not managed correctly, they can become a significant liability. Proper records management begins with Information Governance (IG). IG establishes the processes, roles, policies, and procedures to control your company’s assets efficiently. Better control mitigates the risk of non-compliance, saving you money and stress long-term.
5) Improper Information Destruction
When a document is no longer needed, proper disposal is a must and, in some cases, a legal requirement. Disposing of materials in-house can be inefficient and risky. Office shredders are unreliable, jam easily, and time-consuming to shred large volumes of documents. Improper destruction of sensitive information can result in identity theft and security breaches, leading to lawsuits, costly fines, and more. Outsourcing document shredding and hard drive destruction protect your business and reputation by ensuring sensitive information is non-recoverable.
6) Lack of Training
Record management procedures may vary based on an organization’s goals and needs. One of the most critical responsibilities of a company is keeping all staff up to date on training, procedures, and contingency plans. Having everybody on the same page not only increases security measures within an organization but will help your business resume operations promptly in the unfortunate event of a disaster.
7) Not Using Resources
Records management is challenging and requires a significant investment of time and money. Inappropriately managing the information of your organization can increase the financial burden and destroy a company’s reputation. Partnering with a reputable records management provider provides your business with the right tools to improve security, efficiency, and workflow in the long run.
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