Records management is the process of maintaining a company’s information throughout its lifecycle, from creation to disposal. In this context, a record is any electronic document that must be preserved, tracked, stored, and recalled. Sometimes certain regulatory and legal standards require companies to save all drafts of a document, along with the published version. Typically, however, the drafts are discarded, and the final version of the document serves as the record that is handled through the records management system.
Paper record keeping and filing systems were the original method for document management, but now many companies have migrated to electronic document and records management. This shift has also caused an explosion of information, which has become more challenging for companies to manage.
The Benefits of Records Management
A well-designed records management system provides the following benefits:
- Records are organized efficiently. An intuitive, logical organizational structure, metadata systems, and powerful search utilities make records easier to retrieve.
- Work productivity increases, because less time is wasted searching for records. Records are also easy to store yet a thoughtful taxonomy and automatic and manually applied metadata make it easy to locate specific records.
- Compliance with corporate or legal requirements improves.
- Document storage and use by multiple departments without duplication becomes easy.
- For law firms, eDiscovery becomes more effective in civil litigation, because information is found, retrieved, and analyzed faster. It can be stored in situ or automatically moved to a specific, protected location. The speed and ease of collecting electronic evidence can affect the outcome of a case.
The 3Sharp Approach to Records Management
3Sharp’s experience in records management focuses on governance, the development of appropriate taxonomies, and building automatic systems to create metadata. 3Sharp can help you integrate 3rd-party tools to add appropriate keywords to structured and unstructured documents, thus creating a user-friendly library allowing records to be stored and tracked securely and retrieved quickly and easily.
Here are some examples of how 3Sharp could help you build an effective records management system:
- Due to a legal proceeding, a company must find, preserve, and produce all documents associated with a particular client. Using SharePoint, the company can “discover” these records, “lock” them in place, or relocate them to a particular location.
- Another company has a policy of locally reserving all contracts and related support documents for three years. At that time, the support documents are deleted, and the contracts are moved to long-term storage, where they are archived indefinitely. 3Sharp can easily build a SharePoint system to automate this process. It can even alert authors or managers when documents are to be destroyed.
- 3Sharp worked with Pingar to integrate their existing Metadata Extractor with SharePoint 2013. This SharePoint 2013 app, now in the Office 365 app store, will automatically discover relevant keywords within the documents contained in an Office 365 portal. This app helps companies achieve better user adoption, improved compliance and increased findability.