70% of businesses need to have a record management policy. That’s not a sales pitch; that’s the law. Is your document/record management policy up to federal and provincial/state regulations? What I’m about to say might make your current situation a little more clear.
Two Common Record Management Systems That Are Not Safe
As more businesses continue to shift towards digital transformation, it’s essential to ensure that your organization has an efficient way of managing records and disposing of unnecessary documents.
However, there’s a right way and wrong way to handle document management. What’s the wrong way? If you’re using Google Drive or a paper-based filing system, that would be the wrong way.
Five words: Not secure and not organized! That is if you’re just running an out-of-the-box version of G-suite or your paper filing system is like the majority of businesses out there. Be sure to determine the categories of records you have, how confidential they are and how long to keep them.
With the alternative, SharePoint, you can keep your documents organized, ensure compliance with legal regulations, and avoid lawsuits related to document retention (using Microsoft Purview, the governance controls used for enabling compliance with your records).
Why a Record Management Policy Using SharePoint Is Better
SharePoint is a secure storage system that, without spending thousands of dollars, can keep documents safe and in compliance with regulations. Every major industry will have some type of requirements for how documents can be stored. Google Drive just can’t do that without expensive programming and custom-built rules. It’s too easy to gain access to things, and it’s just not a secure platform. In short, SharePoint is. Permissions are more tightly managed, and how it organizes information follows regulations.
A Paper Record Management Policy Will Not Work
Ok, let’s say you’re using a paper-based record management policy. What is the problem with this? There are many, but the one that comes up the most in my experience is keeping electronic documents for too long-sometimes unintentionally. Ensure your policy is regardless of format, paper or electronic. Ensure the context is what drives how records are categorized and how long they should be maintained (not the format).
Most of you who are reading this know you only have to keep certain documents for a fixed period of time. After that, you can dispose of them. There’s a reason why businesses should do this.
Any idea where I’m going with this?
Why A Bad Record Management Policy Puts Your Company At Risk
Keeping documents incurs risk! Let’s say something happens, and you get sued. You have documents in your possession that would increase your chances of losing in court. The court orders a discovery, and you are now legally required to hand those documents over to the court.
Now there are two directions this could go in. One, you hand over the documents and lose, or you play with fire, tamper with evidence and run the risk of you being escorted out of your own building in handcuffs.
SharePoint Automates Your Records Management
I wouldn’t recommend either scenario. Here’s what you should do instead. SharePoint can be programmed to get rid of documents when they no longer have to be kept. Maybe you already have a system for this. Doesn’t matter, forget it! Human error exists. I’ve seen it happen and have actually been called after the fact, so it doesn’t happen again. It’s not always a situation where someone is trying to hide something devious.
Laws change like the wind. What was legal in some industries yesterday is not legal today. Think of a SharePoint-based record management policy as a type of insurance that you don’t have to pay for every month. All you have to do is set it up and keep it up to date once a year if any laws change. SharePoint doesn’t make mistakes, and the robots that constantly clean your data don’t tire.
How SharePoint Saves You Money Through Organization
Let me shift to a less technical topic and explain how a Sharepoint-based record management policy can save you money. SharePoint can save you money by cutting down the amount of digital and physical storage space you’ll need to run your business.
Think about how many files a business creates every week. Every day your pool of data gets larger. That means more files to worry about, more storage space to pay for, documents getting lost, etc.
Having a record management policy means you are on the path to being organized. Organization leads to increased productivity, and finally, increased productivity leads to a more profitable business.
How To Set Up SharePoint Yourself
The catch in all of this is SharePoint may be difficult for some of you to set up. It’s a valid concern; after all, if you do something wrong, it could be bad news for your business. However, there is a way to 100% make sure you get it right without spending a boatload of money.
My SharePoint Migration Checklist! It’s totally free and will give you some guidelines on how to shift to SharePoint.
If you still need assistance, here is a link to my Bringing Sexy Back to Records Management course, where you’ll learn how to set up SharePoint yourself so you don’t have to spend 50k on a digital transformation specialist.
If you have any other digital transformation questions, feel free to ping me on my LinkedIn page. You can also visit my blog for answers to more of your digital transformation questions.