5-Factors-to-Consider-when-Creating-a-Cloud-Based-Records-Management-Strategy-1Cloud computing continues to be a leading trend in the information management world. In November, Forbes cited a study that states cloud computing expenditures and investments in security technology will continue to increase in 2015. The study, entitled "Computerworld Forecast Study 2015," projects that spending in these two areas will go up by more than 40 percent as more companies begin to store and access their data remotely. These five factors can have a significant impact on your financial firm's ability to manage information effectively and in compliance with federal regulations in the upcoming year.

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Maintaining Security

It is no accident that security is one of the leading predicted expenditures for companies in 2015. Especially in the financial services field, ensuring adequate security for sensitive financial and personal information is absolutely essential not only to comply with regulatory requirements but also to protect your corporate reputation and prevent unwanted data breaches. You must perform due diligence on cloud services providers and obtain assurances that your data will be protected against unauthorized intrusion by cloud provider employees, other clients and the public at large.

Easy Access

An easy-to-use interface for uploading and accessing data is critical. Secure login technologies can provide access from any computer with an Internet connection. By ensuring that your cloud interface allows rapid retrieval and easy searching for relevant records, you can create a solid foundation for achieving compliance with applicable federal rules and increasing productivity among your staff members. A consulting firm with expertise in this area can often provide a framework for creating or implementing a custom interface that suits your company's needs perfectly.

Capacity Requirements

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud environment for financial institutions is the scalability of these services. By paying for only the amount of storage you need and use on a monthly or annual basis, you can enjoy more predictable expenses for budgeting purposes. However, as your storage needs expand, it is critical to have an arrangement in place with your cloud services provider to ensure adequate space for your data and continued security for your clients. By planning ahead for future storage requirements during the initial negotiations with a cloud storage company, you can ensure that these resources are available to you when needed.

Redundancy Measures

Data loss can be a major issue for companies in any industry. In the financial sector, however, the loss of records and data represents not only a serious blow to ongoing client support activities but also to compliance concerns within the organization. By ensuring that adequate redundancy is available for all critical data and client records stored in the cloud environment, your company can protect itself against accidental data loss and the consequent regulatory difficulties that could ensue from failure to produce records as required.

Recordkeeping Requirements

The ability to retain all trade-related records for the seven years required by the SEC should be a key element in deciding on a service provider and developing a comprehensive cloud information management strategy. Current federal requirements require your company to produce complete trade reconstruction data within 72 hours and to retain all trade-related records for seven years. Creating linking information for easier searching and faster retrieval of all relevant data can help you to maintain full compliance with all federal regulations and can promote greater productivity in your working environment.

Are you ready to implement an effective and efficient cloud-based records management strategy for your financial institution? By taking these five factors into consideration, you can stay on the right side of federal regulations while enjoying both the benefits of cloud access for your employees and scalable storage to reduce your overhead expenses. Consulting and advisory firms can help ensure you’re on the right path in the cloud computing marketplace and provide you with the guidance and support needed to implement the precise strategy for your needs.

A Field Guide to Enterprise Records Management