establish a solid records management program is a challenge for any organization. Just like planning a new college campus or reconstruction of the existing center, it has to be carefully planned from the beginning to the end. All organizations benefit from regular, thorough and well-maintained records, and records management is rarely given priority status. Most organizations focus on the “next thing” that will take their business forward, without spending enough time to create, complete, update, protect and even purging or destroy their files on time.
Humans are notorious for being motivated when there is a sense of urgency to act. Many of us can identify with the need to diet or eat properly, but we take the first action when we realize in a panic, our clothes no longer fit. We study as we should when there is fear we could not get into the college of our choice, or may have to repeat the class. Unfortunately, few people do what they should do without external motivation. Regulatory compliance, and the fear of litigation that follows it, have given the need for records to move up the organization priority list for many companies. Factors for establishing a successful strategy are listed below, along with software considerations to make implementation easier.
Communication Need for Records Management Policy
The key to a successful records management program is well thought out records management policy that is accompanied by consistent records management processes. Clear policy rules that inform employees what to create, manage, clean, and destroy, and helps our managers, and organizations with which rules they must meet, to know when a breach has occurred.
It is important to note, however, that automation is no substitute for policy. If you are still working paper files, automation will not solve the problem, nor will it add to the inherent weaknesses in the policy. The need for compliance with whether records are stored electronically or are still on paper. A sound policy sets clear expectations of records, and helps staff to follow procedures expectations consistently.
As noted by Steve Weissman, Senior Analyst and Director of Marketing of Art Plus technology, “Simply automating records management program often results in automatic current mess. We do not set up a schedule for management and vomiting data , companies are at risk of simply getting into trouble faster. However, management can aim to demonstrate compliance, lack of strategy can actually show expediently as they have not been. This spells unwanted problems for the institutions that could have been prevented if they had established a solid strategy from the beginning. “
Even the act of creating the strategy can help with legislation, particularly Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, because it shows that the organization has made sincere efforts to ensure compliance and implement internal controls. If an agency does not feel the urgency to create and communicate a clear policy document, archivist should lift the importance of consistency and undesirable consequences of compliance failure. This can serve as a motivating tool to implement a plan that your company will benefit on multiple levels. The policy will give managers the tools they need to effectively manage one of the most critical assets of the Company :. Joint business projects files
Review: Defining and lifespan
The ISO (International Organization for standardization) defines records as “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information about the organization or individual, in accordance with legal obligations or in the transaction business.” The file format can vary from a paper document to e-mail, voicemail, fax, video or comments on the documents. Each entry should have important information, or metadata, the record attached to it. That created the record? Where will be stored? Who is allowed to approach it? How long to keep? When should you get are discarded from the files? When it should be discarded or destroyed?
first and shortest part of the inventory cycle, an organization is usually concerned actively manage document and its contents, including who has access, view, events, or otherwise take action on the matter. The remainder of the life cycle is focused on file storage (records that are temporarily or permanently disabled), controlled access, maintenance, vomiting and disposal
Record Storage :. To establish a clear path for easy retrieval
first step in records management is an effective data classification and storage system that allows quick, easy, and safe recovery of the information when it is needed. Regardless of whether you use OCR, ICR, bar code, or any other method to capture information, electronic storage of documents, images and historical data can make records management easier. However, the only work to their maximum potential if the information is organized well and wisely.
In the digital world, a clear classification plan takes into account the diverse puts people and departments that need to find files, and concepts they need to look for them. By taking the time to create a solid record classification or the classification plan, your staff, auditors and regulators will be better served, and you can reassign staff skills more important task than to search for files.
Recently, E-discovery has made it important for businesses to be able to provide all relevant information for the publication of research and other regulatory response projects that require specific data. Legislation was revised as recently as 2006, in particular the rules on civil procedure, now give the courts the power to require the data as evidence, regardless of the cost to businesses that need to provide it. E-mail, text files, data stored on PDAs and other devices, backup tapes, databases, videos, music files and other content are all subject to these rules. A comprehensive and efficient records management system for easy retrieval helps companies avoid crippling problems that can arise from eDiscovery challenges. Companies with technology that makes electronic search of e-content, and compliance with those requirements have a huge advantage over those who do not. Those who have implemented an effective system to facilitate e-discovery, along with a clear strategy, unambiguous edge of the court.
In the long term, companies should aim to create a corporate file plan, one hierarchy for all corporate records. This lofty goal is difficult to achieve, and can be accomplished easier if done gradually. By applying records retention policy department level first, the foundation can be laid for enterprise-wide success
control and audit Access :. Creating clear instructions
need to control who views, reads, annotating magnates and acts of documents during the active part of the life cycle record was clear long before the rule was ringing. In decades past, the organizational hierarchy, trust and respect given many rules related to who should get access content. In today’s world, these standards setting bodies at risk if access is not properly controlled and monitored. With HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, SEC and other regulations, it is no longer enough to rely on respect and arms length handshake.
Easy and effective audit policy is important. Violation of safety can and do occur, but they can be prevented easily in a digital solution that is configured to control who is allowed to take specific actions. Equally important, the system should be able to provide detailed audit reports. If certain parts of the form should be accessible to everyone, but the specific components required viewing or annotation restrictions, a good document management software programs can address this need. If documents traveling through automated workflow process of the active part of the record lifecycle, reporting tools can provide the information needed to demonstrate internal policies, as well as external regulations.
When the policy for records management is in place, many of the maintenance challenges are eliminated. By establishing a clear plan for storage, indexing and access, numerous activities surrounding the record of its life cycle is easier to manage. If your organization has moved beyond basic digital storage to include automated workflow, there are many advantages. Changes to documents or amended policies or programs can be set to launch a routine process automatically deliver a document with instructions for action, create personalized letters and phone calls based on data stored in the file, and much more. While the cost savings and efficiency increases are enough to encourage skill archivist to consider this carefully, reporting tools that help to monitor operations and maintain compliance making it an important consideration
Record Retention :. Knowing When to Purge Records from the System
Since most items gradually lose their relevance to the current business of the company over time, purging helps to reduce the plethora of inappropriate materials where staff have to search for relevant documents. Just as the statute of limitations defines the maximum period a person can wait before filing a lawsuit, record retention schedules guide the user to eliminate information that may no longer apply to the company from a legal standpoint. Purging appropriate (as soon as it is logical and permitted by law), but trade data relevant and accessible, and removing it is no longer needed. Employees are no longer distracted by data that is not relevant to their business. Purging promotes efficiency, and simplify the search for information.
Vijay Mago, Technical Director for OITUK, partners Optical Image Technology in the UK, said, “Timely purging of the materials in accordance with retention schedules is an important part of compliance. Companies need to demonstrate that they have policies and system in place ways to clean the right content at the right time. The technology makes it much easier to monitor and enforce these rules, but provide a clear audit trail access and activities. Without this proof, a company set up in significant and unnecessary risks. ”
Solutions to register and file management challenges
There are many factors to complete inventory management solution. When solid trend has been confirmed, there are several powerful tools that can make document management and file lifespan considerably easier. Automated workflow (the company lifecycle document), email management, a hierarchical storage management products (to manage document retention and audits), and Web services are important factors detailed solution. The role of each component in the records management program described below.
Role of Automated Workflow Record life cycle
Digital Workflow is key to effectively manage, control and audit each step involved in each of the processes associated with document or file. Automated workflow facilitates the required record manager to monitor document access and process associated with these documents. If the ruling is, companies can be required to provide access to files or reveal who viewed, modified or send a document or other actions related to it. Automated workflow product with powerful reporting tools makes this process faster, easier and considerably less time consuming and cheaper. Electronic workflow can be configured to require a level of consistency and completeness to recordkeeping department requires, and powerful reporting tools to prove the system and employees are following the rules and expectations set out in the guidelines.
Leading electronic equipment workflow on the market today can integrate well with a diverse line-of-business software applications. This maximizes the value of data stored in the applications and allows data to be shared evenly company based on predetermined rules of the company. Digital workflow pushes the right documents and data to the correct party to timely action, significantly improving efficiency. Updates today the policy or program can automatically send a notification to act, or to create the appropriate call or letter. Workflow reporting tools make all transactions to monitor and analyze in formats that suit business and simplify compliance auditors. These same tools provide administrators with productivity analysis, clear trails and audit data, enabling continuous quality improvement in the processes related to business documents. The business life cycle, the value of digital workflow to assist compliance and assist organizational effectiveness can not be overstated.
A solution provider of automated workflow should have a product with tools to customize workflows to the needs of business, measurement tools to show where the documents are in the process and reporting and auditing tool to help facilitate them. The software should be scalable to grow with your business, and should be integrated with other line of business software to provide the maximum benefit from the investment. Organizations with limited IT staff and resources should ask their vendor for supply of professional services to help them to design, adjust and make possible changes to the system to match their changing needs.
Email Management Tools to promote efficiency and Compliance
Mail similar to other corporate data because they keep the content related to company business. The vast majority of e-mail companies have valuable business, as well as information on how decisions were made. Industry statistics indicate that 60 to 70% of corporate communications are housed in the mail, and sometimes more.
Effective management of email is an important piece of proper records, as they often store important company information and communication. Steve Weissman says, “A record is a record regardless of its origin or form. Whether the information stored in the voice mail, fax, document, picture, or e-mail, it’s content, it is a record. Companies are wise to manage all types of files effectively and thoroughly. “messages should be stored in a storage company to facilitate the search of their content, including sharing of information in the header and metadata about the email. Many companies now store their mail in a common repository as a step towards compliance. If the court requires proof that the email was sent or received on a particular subject or in specified time limits, auditors will expect data to prove the facts clearly. The cost of providing information requires the auditor may apply unauthorized organization, but disastrous for the company in cases where the researcher or comply with it difficult.
While tracking sent special messages outside the company’s direct mail recipients enigmatic challenge, your company must be able to prove it was sent out, and that, if you have questions. Without looking at the system, tracking such data by email will be labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive process. Clear and consistent rules for auto arch friendly emails promotes greater efficiency and fewer errors, and makes compliance easier.
An email management solution providers should be more powerful search tools that make the true implementation of this important information easy. The software should be able to track e-mail on multiple servers simultaneously, and run on any platform to allow easy integration with other current and future technologies. The solution should be flexible, to enable it to grow with your business. Registration blacklist and whitelist capability helps managers take to facilitate the management of incoming emails and provides the added benefit of significantly improving efficiency.
hierarchical storage management tools to automate retention and audits
Strong hierarchical storage management product removes the human part to control document and information storage. This makes the system more efficient and less prone to errors. Retention schedules can be automated, with built-in alerts when a file needs to be discarded. Important information can be backed up regularly and automatically based on rules you put in place.
A hierarchical storage management solution addresses document-centered provisions set out in the regulations and eliminate the human factor in ensuring compliance. It includes a retention schedules, audit trails, moving and clearing requirements, data migration, and other tools records. It should allow for the automatic and regular backups of data within predetermined rules state hierarchy data matter. When paired with other products in the integrated document management suite, your business will be allowed with a solution that not only addresses regulatory challenges, but also provides a way to increase the monitoring of materials, reduce risk and ensure the integrity of the document.
Web Services to ensure interoperability
Recently, Web Services received increasing importance in the records. Since the documents and records of these documents are often stored and processed by a variety of business applications, systems interoperability is important. Web services enable systems to communicate with each other, ensuring that data stored in different applications can be accessed and centralized to facilitate reporting and analysis. They institutions to tap into the many techniques familiar in their applications. Data can be extracted from the applications behind the scenes, and as an additional benefit, specific operations can be performed by tying Web services workflow to push the work behind the scenes to those who need it. By adjusting the system to automatically extract data and perform whatever is needed behind the scenes, efficiency greatly improved. In addition, compliance is much easier with the ability to extract emails from multiple sources and provide information on the email is needed for analysis and assessments.
Records management is a never ending process. It helps to have a clear strategy and powerful tools that integrate with each other, both within each department keeps files and even the company. Consider your existing policy before you start, and correct weaknesses or inconsistencies so you understand your needs completely before you choose a solution provider.
When evaluating vendors to promote complete records management solution, make sure you also consider -driven workflow document management solution that will seamlessly integrate and make it easier for you to manage your business life cycle of documents while they are still active. Do not wait for an emergency to give you a sense of urgency to establish a strong records management program. With a solid plan, and tools that use workflow, reporting, storage management, email management, and Web services interoperability, business should be able to manage records effectively and you should reap huge gains in efficiency. More importantly, you should be able to police records effectively so real police do not have to.