The more records you store, the greater the likelihood that your data will be stolen or hacked. Destroying sensitive documents and files can reduce the chances that you or your company’s employees and customers will become identity theft victims.
Most business owners, though, don’t pay attention to the volume of records they have until they run out of room (physical or digital), and then, the project is overwhelming.
It’s not a new problem; back in the ‘90’s, there was a small business in San Dimas storing boxes on the unused second floor of their building and the floor collapsed due to the weight! They did not recover from that disaster and went out of business.
Additional business risks
Digital records environments have added to the risk for business. If you’re “in the cloud”, your contract more than likely has a clause that the provider is not responsible for the management of your content.
So, if you’ve never gone through your file cabinets or boxes and you’ve just added storage or moved to the cloud or deleted records because they were “old”, you may have put your company at risk.
The good news is that there are records professionals who have the expertise to assist you in defining the business rules around records and information management, disposing or preserving records based on the rules, and then, providing tools to manage the records going forward so you don’t find yourself in the same situation in 2030.
Tools to use
1. Records Management Policy
a. What, Who, Why, Where and How records are to be managed
b. Published where all users can find and use it
2. Records Retention Schedule
a. Legal requirements and legal considerations
b. Operational and historical considerations
c. Vital record identification and protection methods
d. Disposition methods
a. Many choices based on your business needs and how you work
b. Should allow management of paper files if you have them
4. Records SWAT Team
a. Outsourced to people who don’t have any interest in your records so the disposition decision is based on the Policy and the Schedule, not “I should keep this just in case”
5. Robotic Process Automation
a. Checks shared drives, c-drives, email for records as defined by the Schedule and moves a single copy to the Repository for all who have authorized access can reference them.
b. Removes duplicates.
c. Notifies when records can be disposed of on a scheduled basis.