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The foundational concepts of ensuring “the record” meets the standards embodied in The Principles are not dependent on format; they apply when the document “records” business information.

The tools used in the paper world were cumbersome: paper folders take up space, large files had to be split up into volumes, out cards used when folders were back ordered or someone took the paper file and additional documents came in. To make matters worse, filing cabinets and shelving units aren’t easy to move, they take up lots of space, keys got lost or drawers/doors that fell off the track, and files are mis-filed or just lost on a daily basis.

The first wave of technology, microforms, was intended to reduce the sheer amount of space required but users had to have specialized equipment to use the information on the microforms and often the filming of the paper onto the film was of poor quality.  As a result, companies kept the paper files for daily use and maintained the microform for disaster recovery purposes.

In the second wave, barcode technology was adapted from UPC codes to enable tracking of a file or box from one location to another. The barcodes were modified to identify individual documents in a file during a digital conversion to static tiff files.

Then came Optical Character Recognition. Then metadata validation against existing trusted line of business applications for consistent indexing across the organization. Gamechanger!

Today, we have automated classification and application of retention rules at the time of scanning, ingestion or download of a company’s records.  The foundation to the success of a document management program today is the same application of classification, taxonomy, standardization that was evident in a physical file room.

Ready to talk solutions? Western Integrated Systems has been providing digital transformation solutions for its customers for more than 40 years. We’ve been there for customers when physical file rooms were the norm and have evolved to provide solutions today for even the most complex electronic records management environments. We’ve been there, done that and will do it again for our customers with records management needs. Contact us to get the conversation started.

The tools certainly have changed, but the rules sure haven’t.