While much of today’s communications are born digital, most organisations have an accumulation of hard copy records made up of documents which must be kept, should be kept and should be destroyed.
Most organisations do not have the capacity to undertake a digitisation project, they do not have the equipment, personnel, time or expertise, so the project lies dormant.
NSW State Records when researching the implications of digitisation saw an American Institute of Information Management report which showed that in the USA, 40% of organisations undertaking digitisation achieved a Return On Investment (ROI) in 12 months or less and 74% achieved ROI within 2 years.
With this in mind plus the numerous benefits achievable in a digital environment the argument for digitisation can be justified and won.
Outsourcing the process will not strain internal resources and will not disrupt day-to-day operations. Outsourcing also means staff do not have to be trained, equipment for all types of scanning does not have to be purchased and the preparation of records can also be done.
Consultation is key to achieving a successful IRM outcome, and must be both internal and external with the chosen expertise. People, policies and processes all need to be considered, with revision of existing resources and the addition of new resources put into the mix.
Records Management and digitisation combine to achieve effective use of the data, ergo knowledge, which belongs to any given organisation.
Digitisation is also a key step towards digitalisation or as Dave Aron, Gartner Vice President explains “the process of exploiting digital information to maximize business success.”