Elements of a State-of-the-Art Records Management Services
Over the past couple of years, I have come to the realization that with the many changes taking place in our industry there is a new “State of the Art” in Records Management. This change has come about because of new market drivers combined with new vendor solutions in response to these requirements.
• eDiscovery - The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that ALL available documents are discoverable in a court case. This includes electronic content, regardless of media. Email is the largest type of electronic content that is requested in eDiscovery. Instant messages, voice mail, copies, drafts, personal correspondence, and so on are all discoverable.
• Audit Readiness - Audit Readiness is a term coined by some U.S. Department of Defense organizations to refer to the ability of an organization to respond quickly, accurately, and completely to an audit. Paper-based and non-automated solutions to this requirement can produce negative results and serious ramifications. An automated process, on the other hand, can allow organizations to relatively easily produce a full audit trail of their business transactions, reducing the time and effort required to respond to an audit.
• The Presidential Memo – Managing Government Records - President Obama issued a memorandum to all agencies on Nov. 28, 2011, requiring each agency to appoint a senior official to deliver a plan for moving the agency from paper-based records management to electronic records, specifically email, social media, cloud solutions, and so on.
• Doing More with Less - One of the tag lines in the U.S. Federal Government these days is “doing more with less.” This refers to the dynamic of shrinking budgets and resources combined with increasing volumes of information to manage. This applies to the private sector as well as all levels of government in these challenging economic times.
• Big Bucket Retention Schedules - The new paradigm for Record Management includes a redefinition of Records Retention Schedules. Legacy schedules were developed around a paper-based paradigm and typically are very granular, with many arbitrary retention rules that are now unnecessary and undesirable. Many organizations have hundreds or thousands of individual record series.