Enterprise Records Management Demand for a Comprehensive, Compliant ERM Program is Clear— the Methodologies and Road Map for Universal Success Are Not.


While records management has traditionally focused on physical assets (paper, microfilm/fiche, etc.), today’s business realities have driven a renewed focus on the management of enterprise records. Even so, as technology and services to manage electronic records are now available and maturing, the process and strategy for enterprise-level records management requires preparation, planning and an approach that includes active participation from several areas of the organization.

Many technology vendors have jumped on the “Compliance Bandwagon”— ot always with success. There is no out-of-the-box ERM or compliance solution in today’s marketplace. Compliance technology, especially for archival and formal records management, is also being leveraged for litigation and discovery initiatives (suspension, hold, preservation). Further, wider adoption of enterprise content management technologies (including imaging, document management, archival, storage, workflow, etc.) is on the rise as companies seek to implement a solid records management strategy.

The many challenges of records management

Records management spans multiple formats, with electronic gaining on paper every day. Making the transition from physical to electronic records management is a key challenge, with many organizations lacking expertise to fully internalize and implement these changing requirements. The ability to maintain accurate records from creation through storage to final disposition adds complexity, as does integrating with legacy and other line of business (LoB) imaging, archival and document management systems. 

Compliance and regulatory mandates, while some are new, offer acute challenges for organizations with high volumes of records. Staying current on regulatory changes and new requirements and keeping costs down while adhering to these requirements are crucial. Other key challenges include establishing and enforcing records creation and policies, and engaging employees on their responsibilities.

Minimizing corporate risk is top of mind in most organizations today. Litigation has increased, legal precedents tip, discovery costs toward the defense (e.g., Zubulake vs. UBS Warburg) and business continuity and protection of vital records are now integral parts of a records strategy. The need to protect sensitive content and the unauthorized usage and dissemination of corporate materials is growing. All in all, the corporate risks manifest themselves in several ways: reputation, valuation and brand loyalty among the top.

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