One common question organisations have around managing their documentation is: how should they future-proof their recordkeeping? How can they keep up with the ever-expanding volumes and types of information swamping their organisations, along with the many pieces of legislation regulating how information should be kept and used?
As is usual these days, technology offers a solution. Specifically, an enterprise content management (ECM) system provides a central repository for storing and managing all your electronic records, documents and other content.
However, while choosing the right system is vital, your people and processes play important roles. Here are four ways you can help future-proof your organisation’s information and recordkeeping needs.
1. Choose a system that can capture any information from anywhere
Not all recordkeeping systems offer the power and flexibility you may need for your organisation's future requirements. A Software as a Service (SaaS) ECM system, however, will enable your people to easily create, capture and find any type of information—from invoices and letters to emails and social media posts—on any device.
You’ll be able to manage a wider range of content more efficiently. And that in turn can reduce costs and ensure your organisation has the capabilities for its future recordkeeping and content-management needs.
2. Ensure your system is regularly updated
A SaaS ECM system is also regularly upgraded, so you’re not only getting the latest software features, but also updates needed for compliance purposes.
For example, for records with enduring value—usually identified as ‘permanent’ in records retention schedules—you need to be able to transfer them at certain stages in their lifecycle to an archival facility with strict requirements.
Your ECM system should make this process as seamless as possible, including complying with the latest regulations and your archival facility’s requirements. For example, Victorian government agencies would want an up-to-date solution that complies with Public Record Ofﬁce Victoria’s latest recordkeeping standards.
3. Establish clear policies and procedures
A clearly articulated, organisation-wide approach to records management is a must-have for future-proofing your business. That includes putting in place clear recordkeeping policies and procedures.
You need to ensure those policies are consistent and easy to understand, as they set the foundation for a well-organised records management program. And as much as possible, build your policies and procedures into your recordkeeping system. With the best solutions, users often don’t know they’re following strict procedures, as the system does the work for them.
4. Educate staff on your records management process
To achieve a truly efficient records management process, employees must understand the policies and procedures that apply to all records. That may mean changing the mentality of employees who have been using paper records and following the same records management processes for years.
Education is the key. Tactics could include lunch-and-learn sessions, group workshops or, if needed, a formal change management program.