Automated declaration and classification of records can greatly simplify the RM process and help with consistency and regulatory compliance
What is records management? Simply put, records management exists to ensure that valuable information is properly created, stored, maintained and disposed of so that your organization is in regulatory and legal compliance.
But let’s be real: there’s nothing simple about records management.
Experienced managers spend countless hours sorting and classifying documents and other content. Their job can be complicated, confusing, far from fool-proof, and face it – a lot of times, things get missed.
As the scope of records management extends beyond internal systems to cloud, social and mobile applications, the situation has become even more complex. With a business’s content stored in multiple repositories – such as file shares, e-mail, CRM and other systems – managing, searching, and accessing critical records is a real challenge.
One of the main challenges is traditional records management systems themselves. Not only are they difficult for end users to operate, most are also expensive to extend to other environments.
At the same time, the demands on records retention, disposal and management have increased over recent years, making it critical for compliance an increasing number of processes. The challenge is how to keep the number of errors low. Many organizations have decided to automate the process so that metadata is applied in a consistent and uniform way.
Embedding the records declaration process directly within a content management system – subject to strict governance rules – keeps everything simple and compliant.
Automated declaration and Classification
Automated declaration and classification of records can greatly simplify the RM process and help with consistency and regulatory compliance. A study by global independent researcher AIIM discovered that, while there was initial skepticism around the technology’s capabilities, more and more organizations are turning to automated classification.
AIIM showed that while only 14% of organizations were using automated declaration/classification at the time, 65% or surveyed organizations planned to use the technology in the near future. Of those already using it, only 5% said they are disappointed with its accuracy. The majority of users reported its quality was the same or better than expected.
Trouble in the Cloud
Cloud technology is only becoming more popular, and as more software vendors offer cloud versions of their applications, and cloud file-sharing and collaboration environments expand, more content will reside in the cloud in a non-compliant way.
Including content held within cloud repositories and applying governance policies to traditional records management systems can be difficult and expensive. In the same AIIM study mentioned above, when asked about their concerns regarding content being stored in the cloud, over 35% responded that it was harder to apply information governance and security rules to content in this environment.
Organizations must include cloud services in their RM policies and procedures – just like any other information repository – while keeping it easy for users to adopt.
Think social media doesn’t count when it comes to compliance? Wrong! All social media content should be included in a company’s records disposal, storage, and retention policy.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
The AIIM study found that 37% of organizations felt they should treat social content as records, but weren’t – and only 15% said they saved some of the content, if not all.
Keeping an organization’s records management process simple enough for users to adopt, while effective enough to ensure compliance consistently across all channels, isn’t easy. But there are tools available today that can help simplify part of the process with automation.
Remember: if there are areas within your business that are non-compliant, then the whole business is non-compliant.
Keeping an organization’s records management process simple enough for users to adopt, while effective enough to ensure compliance consistently across all channels isn’t easy. But there are tools available today that can automate and help simplify some of the process.