Electronic information is being generated at an astounding pace. Faced with a new landscape that boasts mountains of digital data, some companies, perhaps daunted by the prospect of conquering this Everest, have been slow to implement records management policies. These policies are not one-size-fits-all. However, all well-designed records management policies offer at least three benefits for any company:
- They centralize and organize enterprise information
- They provide accountability
- They promote compliance with the law
The benefits are realized immediately and will save a business substantial amounts of time and money.
Records management policies should designate custodians to serve as gatekeepers of information. Custodians should make sure that only authorized personnel have access to documents. Although this buffer is not a time-saving mechanism, it fosters a culture of accountability and aids in the proper management of information. In particular, it adds a layer of security, assigns responsibility for certain information and prevents custodians from corrupting electronic data, either willfully or inadvertently. Some may find this short-term inefficiency hard to swallow, but by reducing the probability of costly mistakes, this element will generate long-term savings.