Organizations that fail to meet record retention requirements face considerable potential penalties, which can threaten the firm's revenue, reputation and client loyalty. However, while many firms are struggling to handle growing volumes of documentation and compliance regulations, outsourcing for records management and storage can help improve these efforts.
According to a recent report by Canon Business Process Services, only 15 percent of executives said that their organizations have implemented a risk assessment to determine appropriate record retention periods. Another 52 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations have not completed this process, while 14 percent don't know if they have. These assessments are imperative as they offer firms a chance to identify susceptibilities and better prepare for litigation requests such as eDiscovery, reducing the risk of noncompliance and associated consequences.
Additionally, Canon's survey found that a significant number of enterprises are overlooking best practices for records retention, including managing ongoing program development and compliance monitoring. The source noted that focusing on these opportunities can benefit an organization greatly.
"Whatever records management strategy an organization adopts, the goals should be clear," said Elizabeth Halaki, chief marketing officer for the company. "Our current and previous surveys indicate that companies want their records programs to help mitigate compliance risk, leverage proven technology and better control their information assets."
The Oregonian reported that The Portland Development Commission (PDC) is one agency that has adopted initiatives for improving its record-keeping systems after a recent audit highlighted a need for change. According to the news source, the PDC collects and produces a significant number of public records which include loans, grants, leases and other contracts. The City Auditor's office had asked employees to find specific files, and while staff members were able to locate them all, this involved searching in various locations and for files in varied formats, complicating the process.
This calls attention to a need for more effective solutions, such as electronic document management, which makes records highly accessible to users. These technologies can thus fuel productivity among staff while also allowing enterprises to fulfill a litigation request more quickly.
Canon's report asserted that the goals to any records management strategy should be to mitigate compliance risk, leverage proven technology, gain greater governance over information and enhance operational efficiency. By deploying document imaging tools for digital document management, firms are better prepared for eDiscovery requirements and more empowered to make informed business decisions.
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