As more and more organizations continue their digital transformation, the volume and variety of electronic records continue to grow. This post provides four tips to help you manage electronic records.
1. Correctly identify your business records
Correctly identifying your electronic records can be tricky in an environment where information is constantly being copied, printed, emailed and scanned. Start by developing a RIM policy which clearly outlines your organization’s definition of an official record and apply that to all of your physical and electronic records. You will then need to set standards across your organization and work with IT and staff to apply the criteria to day-to-day business activities.
2. Develop and implement a records retention program
This is critical for controlling records growth and staying compliant. For a successful retention program you will need to
- research the relevant legal and regulatory requirements
- determine how long you need to keep records
- understand your internal retention needs.
3. Use RIM software
RIM software solutions are a great way to effectively manage both your paper and electronic records. RIM software systems can:
- alert staff when records have reached the end of their retention period
- enable easy and fast retrieval of records
- organize all records for ease of use
- provide secure access to all records
4. Plan for long-term retention requirements
Every organization generates records that need to be retained for long periods of time in order to meet legal and operational requirements. This can lead to challenges in finding secure and cost-effective methods for storing this information for the duration of its retention period. Electronic records in particular can be challenging as they are at the mercy of changing technologies.
In order to address these issues, you need to ask:
- What are the financial challenges to long-term retention?
- What are the practical challenges?
- How are long-term records monitored?