Four reasons to manage physical and digital records together

There are real benefits and value to managing physical and digital records using one robust federated solution.

Brenda Prowse

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Brenda Prowse

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August 6, 2019
Four reasons to manage physical and digital records together

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Managing physical and digital records with one solution brings value

Physical Records have come a long way in the records and information management journey. According to AIIM, 56% of organizations still have processes that rely on physical records. This statistic means that even though while we do not see growth as exponential as electronic records, and we might even start seeing a reduction over the years, physical records are here to stay in the foreseeable future.

Due to the evolution of the quick electronic records and the nature of some of the legacy records management systems, many organizations have followed the path of using different systems and different policies to manage electronic and physical. While the governance and processes around managing these two types of records can be quite different, there are benefits in managing them under a single policy using a federated solution. Let’s look at four reasons why you should manage physical and electronic records together.

Reduces cost

This one might seem obvious, but using a single solution to manage all your organization’s records has a significant reduction not only in licensing costs but also on the cost of maintaining those systems over time. In many cases, using a centralized solution that seamlessly manages all your records also reduces the investments you need to make in training users.

Increases productivity

Another important reason you should manage physical and electronic records together is a boost in the productivity and effectiveness of the records management teams. This approach drastically reduces the time you need to train your teams, and the time teams spend on their daily tasks by using a centralized and consistent way to get their work done. It also saves you time in having to maintain multiple tools and policies over time.

Enables better e-discovery

The ever-growing amount of information that organizations generate every day alongside with the multiple tools people use makes having a central view of all your enterprise records a real challenge. This situation is even more difficult when you manage electronic and physical records separately.

By managing them together, you improve your e-Discovery ability, and you have a real holistic view of all your content spread across many sources. It also enables you to understand where duplicates are located, link physical records with their electronic versions, and find where sensitive data is held and who has access to it. All this contributes to unlocking powerful e-Discovery capabilities that you and your legal team can leverage to better manage the risk to which your organization is exposed.

Improves overall governance

Organizations that choose not to manage governance policies centrally tend to struggle to consistently enforce compliance across their organization and therefore are more exposed to compliance breaches and risk. The best practice is to create retention policies that are agnostic of the media type that allows you to have a consistent and single view across the whole corpus of your enterprise content. Are you still managing physical and electronic in isolation? Look into ways how you can make your compliance practice more efficient.

As you can see, there are multiple advantages to moving to a federated records management approach that manages not only electronic records from multiple sources but also manages physical records along their side. This approach helps you centralize your processes, get consistency on how you manage records regardless of their type or where they live and get you in control of the vast amount of records that your organization generates daily and make it exposed to compliance risk.

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