Today records management involves so much more than just keeping track of folders and boxes. A modern Records Management System gives end users a single application for managing both paper and digital/electronic records—but the administrative requirements and purpose remain the same for all record types.
The two most important aspects of records management are: giving access to records for the people who need to see them, and managing the records life cycle so that they are in compliance with all government and enterprise regulations. “Information Governance” is the latest buzz phrase for many business and IT consultants. Security is their major concern, especially for digital content where proliferation needs to be controlled.
Here are the major elements of a well-designed Records Management System:
Accessibility: A good system has a single catalog of all records—physical as well as digital. Authorized users log into the database via any mobile device or favorite browser. They have a number of search options ranging from simple keyword queries to complex Boolean Logic for greater precision. Digital content is viewed online while physical records are easily requested from the records center through automatically populated email requests.
Security: Ideally, online access is so convenient that all users can rely on the central database and therefore do not create personal silos of information. Also, rather than attaching content to an email for sharing with a colleague, they send a secured link for online access. Security is ensured. Proliferation is avoided.
Retention and Disposition: A Classification Scheme and Retention Schedule is maintained by the records manager. It is integrated with the system to control timely disposition of all records as well as accurate filing. The ideal sub-system is very comprehensive, and includes the legal citations that dictate retention rules.
Accurate Filing: It is easy for everyone to file their own records either to physical or to virtual folders. Users are offered only the few folders relevant to them/their work group—so filing is accurate. These folders are created and classified in advance by the records department.
If you implement an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) designed to meet all the above criteria, your users will have a single (secured, updated and structured!) place to look for all enterprise records