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.
So it’s not just the legal risk and weight of storing too many records–in some cases the actual weight of the records has sent companies into full-fledged disaster recovery mode.
Digital records environments have also 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 with a strategic purpose and are just adding storage or moving files to the cloud, you may have put your company at risk without ever intending to. Deleting records simply because they are “old” is also exposing your company to unnecessary risk if a retention schedule has not been followed.
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. This includes disposing of or preserving records based on well established rules, and then, providing tools to manage the records going forward so you don’t find yourself in the same boat in ten years. Here is a few tools worth considering:
Records Management Policy
- What, Who, Why, Where and How records are to be managed
- Published where all users can find and use it
Records Retention Schedule
- Legal requirements and legal considerations
- Operational and historical considerations
- Vital record identification and protection methods
- Disposition Methods
- Many choices based on your business needs and how you work
- Should allow management of paper files if you store them
Records SWAT team
- Outsourced to personnel who don’t have any interest in your records so that the disposition decision is based on the Policy and Schedule, not someone who is likely to say “I should keep this just in case”
Robotics Process Automation
- Checks shared drives, c-drives, email for records as defined by the Schedule and moves a single copy to the Repository so that all who have authorized access can reference them
- Removes duplicates
- Notifies proper personnel of when records can be disposed of on a scheduled basis
If your records room is starting to look more like a library than an organized filing operation, contact the experts at Western Integrated Systems for a thorough evaluation of your records management. The team at Western has seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to records management. We can tailor a solution that will decrease your risk, streamline your organizational processes and create a retention schedule that will govern when and why a record can be disposed of.