Innovative Strategies for Information Management
As technology has moved toward an entirely digital system, reducing the amount of paper used within an office has been a natural progression. Digital records management has become a new trend and is working toward being the standard for companies around the world. There are many online services available through innovative records management, including:
- Instant Access to Hardcopy and Digital Assets: you only need to log-in to your compute to gain access to the documents at your security level.
- Mobile Access from Any Location: With the increase use of smartphone and mobile technology, these digital files can be accessed wherever you are.
- On-Site Cloud Hosting: The need for physical back-up tapes has been eliminated.
- Seamless Integration to Existing Systems: Current digital systems can merge with digital management software, making the access smooth, without a messy transition.
A common demand from customers is physical security, but as the movement toward technology has become more understood and recognized, the demand for digital security has increased steadily. Fortunately, there is a lot of security that is put into digital information management, ensuring that digital information is protected far better than paper ever was. Additionally, digital clouds have higher security protocols than traditional on-site file hosting.
Data is now stored externally within third-party specialty data centers or internally within climate-controlled, ultra-secure vaults. These systems have near real-time back-ups, as well as multiple internet connections and are protected by both firewalls and encryption codes. One of the measures is the PRISM privacy + program, which was created by the United States National Security Agency to collect internet communication from at least nine major United States internet companies. The PRISM program lists ten control objectives related to network security, environmental control, risk assessment, and human resource management. Prior to the implementation of the PRISM program, only the most innovative suppliers would have adhered to the recommendations for security.
While the western world has been advancing toward digital management, there are a few overarching principles that will always remain the same, regardless of the methods used to achieve them. These include:
What are we working toward for the future?
As the National Archives of Australia have pointed out, “Almost all information is created digitally”. It is now considered wasteful to use paper for correspondence or data tracking. Yet the need of innovation is still present, moving toward an entirely digital records storage and management system. Many companies are still in the process of switching from paper-based practices toward a digital management service and there is a need to have services available to help companies switch their information processes toward digital management systems.
Additionally, companies that have advanced to innovative practices have given themselves the upper-hand, as they are on the cusp of new technology, leaving the businesses that fail to move toward the new system behind. Businesses that are unwilling to advance will fall behind, not only in digital information management, but their customer base. The expectation from consumers will advance with technology, increasing the demand for secure digital information management.
There are numerous benefits with switching to a digital management system, including:
- Improved business process with the increase in quick access and data retrieval. There will no longer be a lag while a paper document is looked for. Paper can easily be misfiled and is often with only one employee at a time. Instead of rifling through papers, the needed document can be brought up with a few key strokes.
- Increase of speed in accessing information will created better-informed decisions. Because the information is easier to access, all of the needed information will be found instantly, making business run quicker and smoother.
- Since information will be retrieved quickly, customer satisfaction will increase. Customers will be happier with immediate service.
- Fewer staff members will need to retrieve information as there are fewer places to look for information. Since the files are maintained digitally, the information can be accessed by the employee needing it, eliminating the need for other employees to fetch and search for information.
- Easier ability to share information across agencies. It is easy to send the information to the correct people immediately, without data loss.
- Saves money to maintain government compliance as well as increase in ability to generate accurate data for legislative purposes. In order to ensure that your company is compliant, the data information management service will audit the files to know who has accessed them and when.
- Improves your business’s reputation in your industry. Your business will be known as innovative and on the forefront of emerging technology. Customers, especially in the western world, are more likely to work with companies that are using innovative methods.
- Save money by fewer material costs. From the paper mill to the delivery truck, and down to the office, having digital information will cut down on workplace costs. There will also be fewer staff working on copying, distributing, filing, and retrieving data as it can be accessed with ease.
The Outlook for the Future
The market is currently trending toward the capture and indexing of documents before they are copied, saved, emailed, printed, and accessed multiple times. The result of this trend is the reduction of paper consumption and the data storage capacity required within organizations while increasing the productivity, efficiency, and ultimately the level of service to its customers.