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Discovering Value In Records Management

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Does this comic resonate with you? Despite our best efforts, sometimes it can feel like records management is a costly program that exists for the sole reason of meeting legal requirements.

But in reality, archives (and the larger practice of information governance) bring more to the table than just keeping regulators satisfied. In fact, many organizations are discovering that leveraging their gathered data allows them to make better predictions, reduce costly waste, and streamline processes. This is being done in a variety of ways, but most follow a four step process:

Manage – determining what information needs to be kept and what can be securely disposed of. Whether it’s compliance driven or not, this stage is where many businesses realize how much unneeded records are costing them. Whether it’s physical or virtual storage, paying to archive information is expensive and you should know whether continuing to maintain it is worthwhile.

Protect – ensuring that security procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of your valuable data. This applies to both physical (security cameras, access controls) and digital (firewalls, virus scanning) efforts, as criminals are becoming aware of the value of information at the same time enterprises are. Before anything else, this step should be a priority: many legal regulations have a security component to them.

Access – it’s easier and faster than ever before to examine records in storage. Gone are the days when your only option was to request a box and have it delivered to the office; with the advent of internet connections possibilites like scan on demand have become realities. Optical character recognition allows you to request even the oldest files in a digital format, greatly increasing the efficiency of information gathering.

Discover – this is where the actual value of records management can be realized. With widespread indexing and digitization, trends and outliers that may have been previously hidden can be revealed to the average user for the benefit of everyone. Converting paper records into digital data also allows for greater sharing and collaboration between team members, and encourages a streamlined work environment.

The Data Vault has been helping guide organizations through these steps since 1984, continually adding to our abilities as time and technology allow. If you’re looking to transform your records management program from a cost center into an asset, contact us today and one of our experts will be happy to evaluate your needs and determine potential solutions!

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