How do organizations manage their important business and legal records. If they have an information management systems (less than half of the top 1000 companies in Canada do), it is not deployed across the entire enterprise, Most are being used as repositories to store even more copies of the records. The conventional wisdom in most organizations is just to keep everything, since it’s cheaper to store electronic content than it is to dispose of it. This is proving to be a falsehood.
When asked, the vast majority of business executives do not even consider records management to be worth consideration. The reasons for this are complex, but a recent study by AIIM revealed that:
Traditional principles from “paper-based” records management don’t work anymore. Volume alone is killing the manual processes, and the nature of the records is preventing organizations from specify how they should be stored or managed.
This lack of vision, combined with a non-workable existing records management strategy, has led to a chaotic collection of digital records. Systems such as Sharepoint offer promise, but are not being utilized effectively (most shared drives and SharePoint sites look like a digital landfill with little or no control).
Email is probably the largest contributor to the current mess, but is by no means the only variable. Massive duplication of records is quickly becoming the largest source of headaches for enterprise IT personnel.
The key to solving this dilemma is to move beyond the paper paradigm for records management. But how can this be accomplished? One way is to give Records Management a direct connection to a C-level executives, so that decisions involving risk are mitigated. Records Management also needs to shift to more of a “disposition management” focus – managing risk (and storage costs) by thinking about what goes rather than what stays.
The first step is getting help to figure out how bad the mess is, and what can be done to clean it up. Wortzman Nickle can show you the way.