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Is It Time For A Records Information Management Overhaul?

by securedatamgt | 29 Apr 2016

Records Management

It is important that a records information management (RIM) system is regularly updated in order for it to remain effective. After all a business is always changing, not to mention the uncertain economic system it has to work in. It is easy for employers to forget to bring their RIM system in line with these developments,which will often overshadow more mundane matters in the workplace, and therefore some firms without realising could retain the same ineffectual RIM system for many years.

Changes in the workplace are not the only reasons why an employer should frequently renew their RIM programme. An improved RIM system could lead to a reduction in administration costs and a significant boost in employee productivity. An outdated RIM system often cause employees unnecessary delays when it comes to accessing information, and diminished employee productivity always leads to a squeeze on profits.

What’s more, information regulators now encourage businesses to review their RIM systems in order to make sure they are compliant with any new Data Protection legislation. There are currently proposals being discussed by the European Union for more stringent data regulations in Europe for example.

Already EU business leaders, such as a senior director at Fujitsu, have warned that the new legislation could require some companies in the UK and across the continent to completely rethink their RIM strategies. This being so, it is has been advised that businesses seek advice from third parties with the expertise to guide employees through the new restrictions. The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) will necessitate that UK businesses are more accountable when it comes to data security threats and that employers respond more quickly to RIM failures.

So it is with good reason that employers are encouraged to frequently scrutinise their record management systems. Record management plans do not need to be updated as often as financial projections, which are usually undertaken quarterly, and indeed even a yearly review of an RIM strategy is in most instances not necessary. If employees are vigilant and continue to adhere to a companies’ record keeping policies, and a RIM system has been put in place that is flexible enough to adapt to incremental changes, then it really could continue to benefit a business for years to come.

Furthermore, if a business is utilising the services of a record management company they will probably find that their RIM partner will do most of the work for them when it comes to reviewing their record keeping program. Most quality document management firms in the UK will forewarn their clients if they believe that their system is in need of improvement and will go on to assist them in the auditing process.

5 Warning Signs to Look Out For

There are however some warnings signs that could indicate to an employer without any expertise in record management that their RIM system is in urgent need of a makeover.

  1. Critical data is being lost frequently.
  2. Digitisation projects are being undertaken regularly without managerial oversight.
  3. Employees have almost unlimited access to documents.
  4. There is little room onsite for document storage and available office space is limited.
  5. It takes employees time to track down documents with very little attention being given to where these documents are stored after use.

All of these signs are suggestive of a RIM system that is no longer fit for purpose. Fortunately most of these RIM failings are easy to fix and there are solutions, such as deciding to use the services of an offsite storage facility, that could remedy most of these issues simultaneously with little commotion.

Indeed, it might be the consequent upheaval that puts off employers most when it comes to renewing their RIM strategy. If the implementation of a new RIM system is carried out with little planning and forward thinking the change could result in some disruption. However with the help of a record management company the transition can be seamless so that business can go on as usual in no time.