Creating an Information Management Plan
Information management strategies help guide organizations to keep their records management practices in sync, improve processes, and prepare for the future. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your information management game plan:
If your company already has a records management program in place, the beginning of each year is an excellent time to reexamine your organization’s goals. Is your business handling your types of records properly, including both paper and digital documents? Does your records management program include business alignment with all of your departments? Are your document retention policies up-to-date?
If your organization hasn’t created a data management plan yet, make it a priority to start one this year. Information management strategies help businesses be aware of what content they have, the contexts in which it’s created, the length of time required to maintain it, and the timeframes for destroying it.
Additionally, it enables you to improve business processes and take advantage of technological tools available to manage your records lifecycle.
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Document Storage and Management
Whether due to legal or compliance requirements, some hard copy records require storage in an accessible, secure location. Offsite document storage allows your company to save valuable office space and enables your employees to focus on more productive tasks.
Many professional document storage companies proclaim similar attributes. Some of these may include climate-controlled storage facilities, temperature and humidity controls, records management systems, and on-demand deliveries.
However, some vendors may have different pricing models, such as document storage prices by the box or cubic foot. By asking how a vendor charges for its record storage services, you can determine if they offer the best value to store your business records long-term.
If you’re using an offsite storage provider already, the start of each year is always a good time to reevaluate your services. What is their customer service like, and do you feel you receive the personalized attention you deserve?
Document Scanning and Storage
If you’re like most organizations, managing your legacy paper files and capturing them in your information system can be overwhelming.
Document scanning and digitization services help get your mountain of data under control. Converting your paper documents to digital files makes your information accessible when you need it. With just a few keystrokes, you can easily access and search for your records.
Once your files are digitized, you will need to consider how you want to manage your digital records. There are two main ways to manage digitized documents – a document management system or cloud storage.
Traditional document management systems are maintained internally, requiring an upfront investment in software, ongoing maintenance, and operations.
A more affordable approach to document management, online cloud storage stores your files on an external server managed by a third-party provider. Cloud storage allows you to access digital documents remotely through a secure hosted platform, eliminating the risk of data loss.
If your retention requirements for document storage are reached, your documents need to be destroyed.
Records must be disposed of properly, mainly when they include sensitive and private information. Specific disposal laws require companies to protect the personal information shared with them by both clients and employees.
To avoid legal fines, organizations often turn to shredding services to ensure the proper and permanent disposal of their information. Using a certified shredding provider to destroy records that include personally identifiable information (PII) protects against identity theft and the replication of data.
Additionally, a certified shredding provider enables you to promote a positive company reputation built on trust and sustainability. The majority of professional shredding services incorporate recycling into their destruction programs, offering a convenient, compliant way to increase your green initiatives.
Information governance refers to the strategic component of designing and implementing records management.
For information governance to be effective, an organization as a whole must support it as it affects the entire company. It does not consist of a simple policy or set of requirements. It is an encompassing approach crafted to support a company’s objectives and compliance standards.
By uniting your information governance and records management, your business will maximize the value of its information assets and be equipped to make informed business decisions in the future.