Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content. Managing information lifecycles is no longer something that can be done manually.
Instead, modern organisations need to rely upon automated, smart records management processes to create a fluent, reliable system that is operationally efficient, secure and compliant. This will ensure – for a start – that records and associated content are easily accessible and can be audited effectively.
However, governance around records keeping has become more than a matter of convenience and easy retrieval – it is now tied to data sovereignty and international retention laws and, as such, is often tied up with red tape and binding legal obligations.
Compliance with regulations such as the GDPR in Europe and Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) mandates that data be kept secure, with access limited to approved personnel. It often needs to have an end-of-life policy as well, according to the region's specific rules or those decided upon by the regulating industry body or by the board.
Information governance policies
Modern content services platforms aggregate and regularly update all information governance policies with simple descriptions of why they are important and how an organisation may need to execute them.
This increases the effectiveness of document retention, using an end-to-end solution to address both the aggregation of relevant policies and the management and execution of the document retention schedule. The goal of an organisation incorporating such a solution is to remain compliant with minimal manual work.
Reduce risk with document destruction
A major part of secure records management is knowing and controlling the lifecycle of a record. As stated, laws on data retention must be adhered to, and internal policies around this are often set to ensure that confidential information is only within the organisation's files for a certain amount of time. This reduces risk and the volume of data that the organisation holds.
Information destroyed by the content services solution cannot be accessed by anyone — which means it cannot fall into the wrong hands. Automated document destruction also means less content to search through and extract when the time comes for audits, making the process faster and less complex.
Three ways an organisation can benefit from automating end-of-life procedures include the following:
- Having less information stored within the enterprise frees up space by reducing database bloat, which will have a flow-on effect on other systems and storage. Reducing the amount of data stored in the enterprise allows for cheaper cloud or data centre costs and faster access to relevant information.
- Automated end-of-life procedures also lowers the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties. However, relying on manual reminders comes with the risk of human and procedural error, exposing the company to the risk of records being overlooked.
- Automated record destruction also negates the number of human hours that would otherwise have been spent locating and manually wiping those files, which again reduces costs and frees up employees to focus on higher-level tasks.
Consolidation is key
Without a content services platform, managing content and records across a variety of systems is also fraught with risk and reduces business efficiency. A content services solution solves many of the challenges associated with legacy systems and older databases, systems, and physical storage locations by providing access to any content wherever it resides.
Using a content services solution for records management enables complete lifecycle management from document creation to declaration and then through to final disposition. It also improves consistency and precision by automating manual tasks such as creating new records and checking records for completeness.
This then reduces the chance of duplicate records, which again adds to database bloat and reduces the efficiency of data systems and analysis.
Records management is a critical part of digital transformation and needs to keep pace with the company's modernisation plans. As such, it is essential to create and adhere to a comprehensive plan and achieve buy-in right across the organisation.
This way, the organisation can rely on the technology to run in the background unobtrusively, allowing the enterprise to function efficiently and compliantly.