Firms in today's digital transformation age are faced with a number of challenges that now cross corporate record keeping - the creation, storage, management and disposition of records, and extend into information governance.
While traditionally records managers are faced with managing corporate records policies and schedules, thereby managing the lifecycle of physical and electronc records such as personnel files, reports, financial records, intellectual property, e-mail and other documents that must be classified, stored and accessible, they are responsible for managing the proliferation of electronic information and content that may never be declared a record, but that is increasingly being analyzed to gain insights into internal and external customer needs as part of an organization’s digital transformation journey.
With the rapid growth of this digital content, the ever-changing compliance regulations, evolving rulings on legal e-discovery and the persistence of a “keep everything” culture, few organizations are prepared to meet these threats and capitalize on these opportunities enterprise-wide. Firms need help in optimizing their records management processes - enabling fast retrieval only to customers with a legitimate right to use the information all while balancing the cost of compliance.
Why the digital push to elevate records management efficiency?
Today, competitive enterprises must have a strategy to fully leverage all of this exponentially growing additional information and content that is proliferating. Businesses are under extreme pressure to adapt their business models and to develop an enterprise-wide digital transformation pathway that includes automating manual processes and increasing collaborative capabilities - all while protecting information from breaches and improper use.
Only be proactively addressing these pressures through strategies and execution roadmaps that include records management and information governance, will companies be best positioned to capitalize on the efficiencies gained internally to reduce operating costs and also be able to identify new ways to monetize the vast lakes and oceans of information they are collecting while still mitigating the new security and privacy risks that will surface from these valuable information stores.
To progress along this new digitally efficient pathway, firms must take a different approach to records management as a key part of their digital strategy - embedding digital capabilities into the heart of their records and information processes, rather than treating digital touchpoints for records as peripheral add-ons.
Enterprises must become lean, agile and flexible to be digitally mature.
When it comes to records management in the digital age, there are five keys to keep in mind as the movement to a more digital way of doing business takes form.
- Risk Mitigation: Avoid non-compliance and reduce the likelihood of litigation and penalties based on negligent information and record keeping practices. Data privacy and security is of paramount importance when firms begin to collect, store, analyze and use information about the habits and routine behaviors of internal and external customers.
- Storage and Disposal Control:Containment of the costs of storage and disposal is critical, whether considering physical or electronic records. Any strategy must define the types of information collected, the purpose for use, length of retention, and when and how defensible disposal will be carried out in line with corporate retention policies and schedules.
- Efficient Search: Reduced discovery, search and retrieval costs by minimizing the volume of material to be searched while maximizing the efficacy of searches across all record types and formats. Collecting information on what records internal and external customers need will enable the analysis required to optimize processes and deliver higher value and additional services.
- Enterprise Classification and Indexing: Collection alone is not good enough –the infrastructure and indexing capabilities must be in place to leverage the information effectively. Efficient indexing depends on strong classification capabilities comprised of enterprise metadata standards, taxonomies, ontologies and integration at both platform and application levels.
- Return on Investment: Comply with regulations as they increase in number and complexity with little or no incremental software.
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With the realities of impending litigation and fines for non-compliance, organizations are forced to become more aware of the business risks associated with poor information management and records keeping.
Today's records management professionals must be open to collaboration, working cross-functionally with business areas and their user communities and jointly developing their technical roadmap for the identification and exploration of new sources of corporate records and information.
Read Also: Digital Transformation Is Going Mainstream
At this time, there is a transformation impacting business decisions, strategies and growth - a digital transformation targeting the way enterprises manage records. To remain competitive - and compliant - organizations must face today's digital realities and make a determined effort to integrate leading-edge digital initiatives across the enterprise to create a truly efficient and compliant organization.