The High Stakes Game of Records & Information Management
One of my favorite childhood memories was playing Rock—Paper—Scissors. Remember, rock beats scissors. Scissors beats paper. Paper beats rock.
While the stakes are much higher in records and information management, it’s a game that you can still master:
· Rock: Go deep. Stay green.
Disasters, both natural and man-made, drive home the need to ensure that IT data remains secure, but readily accessible, in order to support your mission-critical operations. And, what better way to protect your data than to do so in a data center located underground in a limestone mine that’s geologically stable and protected from natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. It’s also a smart choice from a green perspective too. The ambient temperature from the mine lowers annual energy consumption and precludes the data center from needing a raised floor as is custom. Now that’s cool!
· Paper: Keep it safe. Find it when you need it.
Today, the proliferation of paper across all businesses is simply astounding. And, while organizations are becoming more electronic, the reality is that paper is here to stay (at least for a while). Knowing what you have and more importantly, how to properly store it and quickly find the records you need is the key to turning a headache into a head start. On average, your employees are probably spending about ten hours each week chasing down hard copy records. By properly indexed your records, you’ll be able to find and retrieve them more easily. Also, to keep them safe, be sure to store your records in a highly secure facility, equipped with technologically advanced alarms, sensors and fire protection systems.
· Scissors: Keep what you need. Destroy what you don’t.
Essential to any cost-effective and compliant records management program is rigorous and timely enforcement of retention and destruction policies. While this sounds easy, you might be surprised at how frequently organizations fail to destroy information that’s reached its retention requirement.
So where should you start? It’s essential to begin with a legally credible retention schedule that is backed up by research and customized to meet your specific policies and procedures. And, before you destroy records, make sure you have checks and balance in place. Once a document is properly destroyed, all the glue or tape in the world won’t help you piece it back together.
Finally, make sure that the records which have been approved for destruction are completely destroyed and paper-based materials are recycled to ensure your information is non-recoverable. So, those of you destroying paper using a shredding machine that creates those nice even (but readable) strips of paper, this simply won’t cut it (no pun intended).
Now that you’re ready to master the high stakes game of records and information management, why don’t you make it a clean sweep? Grab your favorite eight-year old for a quick round of Rock-Paper-Scissors – it’s a surefire way to bring back some wonderful memories like it did for me.