Document management may not immediately excite everyone’s interest, but there’s nothing more effective at focusing the mind than survival. It is a fact that today’s compliance landscape is harsh and getting harsher – and the key to business continuity is the ability to manage risk, maintain resilience and ensure recovery.
Depending on your organisation’s operations and the legal jurisdictions in which it operates, a broad spectrum of statutes and regulations may apply, such as The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The Data protection Act and/or The Freedom of Information Act.
Further, with regulatory regimes and the penalties they can levy expanding to meet the explosive growth in information flow, neglecting document management can be a very expensive and damaging oversight.
As of 2010, The Information Commissioner’s office can issue fines of up to 500k for improper records management, meaning that failing to implement a proper RM programme could be a very costly mistake.
The first step in document management is to decide which documents you need to manage. And, no, that doesn’t mean you should start by scanning all that paper bulging from your file cabinets or stacked to the ceiling of your storage container.
Instead, proceed in manageable and less overwhelming chunks. Identifying statutory and/or recommended retention schedules for different types of documents is an excellent place to start.
Firstly, you will be able to identify any documents that should be disposed of immediately, which is just as important as retaining the ones that are needed.
Over-retention of documents carries the same penalties as disposing of those that should be kept.
Identifying the standard retention periods for you organisation’s records is not always simple but it is critical to the success of your RM programme in terms of compliance, efficiency and risk management.
In order to make your job a little easier, Mitech Systems has compiled a handy retention schedule brochure which is available through our site as a free download.
In order to access this document, please visit: http://www.mitechsystems.co.uk/our-guides
Once this job is done you can begin to calculate the most cost effective method of managing your documents professionally.
This will depend mainly upon the type of documents you have as well as your budget and you requirements for accessing those documents on a daily or weekly basis. Here is a handy checklist to help you get sorted:
- Do you need mobile or cloud access to these documents?
- Consider your level of hardware/software expertise—do you have in-house capability or do you need a trusted IT vendor to handle it all?
- Do you want to spend money upfront for a total solution or would you prefer to pay over time?
- Do you need desktop tools such as scanning, PDF editing or publishing (PDF/A)?
- Do you have security protocols that you must follow—HIPAA, for example?
- Is full text search important or is simple folder or file browsing acceptable?
- Do you need to connect to a database, customer relations management (CRM), or other sources for data look-up?
Once you have established your needs, give Mitech Systems a call on 0800 783 0304.
Our friendly team will be on hand to help you to implement your new Document Management.