Is Records Management Dead?

Traditionally, records management involved manual dragging and dropping of files into folders and manual metadata application - all of which followed standard taxonomy rules and retention schedules.

These days, technology has kept up with the demand of Big Data and need for speed. Today's record management solutions can tackle complex rules, documents, and structures in any size organization.

But the biggest problem we see is that many organizations become paralyzed when deciding how to manage their information lifecycle. And there are plenty of reasons to do so now, before one of the scenarios below slams your organization with unexpected costs. So how do you get started?

  1. Gain enterprise level buy-in from various stakeholders
  2. Establish a records management team - whether internal or outsourced to a vendor
  3. Conduct an enterprise-wide inventory of records
  4. Prioritize a data storage and management budget
  5. Develop an effective data management taxonomy and define internal and external processes
  6. Understand how industry-based compliance and regulations apply to your data

These five steps will get you to a place of compliance, security, and efficiency. Once you've implemented a records management system, you're prepared when faced with any of the following scenarios:

1.  Your company is hit with a ransomware attack. It's much more widespread than you think: Ransomware cybercriminals took in nearly $1 billion last year. That equates to approximately 2-3 million successful attacks in 2016 - and experts predict that frequency to double year over year through 2019, especially with organizations and businesses as prime targets.

If you don't have a records management solution in place, you don't have the security you need to protect your company against these impending threats. To avoid paying the ransom, you need to recover the encrypted files from backup storage. A records management solution will ensure you're properly storing and securing company documents through data encryption so that a ransomware attack won't be catastrophic.

2.  Your company is found non-compliant with industry standards. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost for businesses that experience non-compliance related problems is more than $9.4 million. Civil fines, penalties, and fees add up - and cause serious damage to your company's bottom line.

If you're audited by a government entity, you need to ensure you can quickly retain and review what's being requested. If you need to delete data after its retention period, you have to do that as well appropriately. Luckily, a robust records management solution and policy can improve efficiencies, reduce e-discovery costs, and help gain control over compliance standards. When you apply rules at a document's creation, you can create a consistent and transparent process showing your activities are conducted lawfully.

3.  Your company is paying way too much for data storage. We've already mentioned how a whopping 2.4 million emails are sent every second, which is causing email infrastructure costs to rise by 30% every year. And that's just email. Consider every attachment, piece of customer information and purchasing information your business consumes daily.

The answer to your costly problems? A records management solution. You'll start by reducing the volume of physical records by moving to the cloud and index your data by specific criteria. From there, you can identify which records should be prioritized, archived or deleted. You'll quickly reduce your storage footprint and save valuable resources along every step of the way. While it may be an upfront cost to do so, a records management solution will quickly pay itself off - and you'll thank yourself for making the switch in no time.