Celebrate World Paper Free Day by getting paper out of your business processes

By: In: Compliance On: Nov 04, 2014
Celebrate World Paper Free Day by getting paper out of your business processes

Is paper getting in the way of your success? Can you almost see it slowing your organisation down, interfering with your customer service and making it hard for your teams to collaborate? Or, are you worried that your paper is exposing you to legal risk?

In Europe 67% and in North America 49% of businesses ranked handling paper as the biggest risk to their information, placing it more than twice as high as the second ranked risk of external/malicious attacks (Beyond good intentions, The need to move from intention to action to manage information risk in the mid-market, A PwC report in conjunction with Iron Mountain, 2014).

The first step to removing paper from your processes is to assess what you want to achieve. You might want to increase business process efficiency or focus on managing records retention more compliantly. Your goal:

• Increased process efficiency. Consider a scanning and digitising programme.

Your steps:

1. Review current processes.

2. Determine who needs the information and what it’s used for.

3. Consult an expert to establish how digitisation can solve these issues.

4. Implement digitisation one process at a time, ensuring your people are fully on board.

5. Don’t scan all records, just the ones you need most frequently or have multiple users.

6. Apply metadata and business rules to maximise long-term benefits.

7. Ensure the quality of your images through periodic audits.

Your goal:

• To ensure compliance and get paper out of your office. If you have files kept past their active life because of a just in case culture. Consider a records reduction programme.

Your Steps:

1. Find out how much and what type of information you have from your business units.

2. Determine who needs the information and what it’s used for.

3. Learn where your records are stored. Are they inhouse or with a third party? Are they physical or digital?

4. Create or update your records retention schedule policy so that it is fully researched both in terms of your industry and geographies. This step should be based on legal advice and should include a review process of the retention policy. Remember to consider the financial penalties and consequences of non-compliance.

5. Index and archive your records.

6. Arrange secure destruction for eligible records.

Celebrate World Paper Free Day by taking the first steps to making your business paperlight. Get a  paperlight office

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About the author

Sue Trombley

Sue Trombley, Managing Director of Thought Leadership at Iron Mountain, has more than 25 years of information governance consulting experience. Prior to her current role, Trombley led Iron Mountain’s Consulting group responsible for business development, managing a team of subject matter experts, and running large engagements. Trombley holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and is an ARMA certified Information Government Professional. She sits on the AIIM International Board, the University of Texas at Austin of School of Information Advisory Council, and is VP of the Boston ARMA chapter. Sue is a frequent speaker at association events, a published author, and frequent blogger on industry trends and issues at http://blogs.ironmountain.co.uk/author/sue-trombley/ and at http://blogs.ironmountain.com/author/strombley/. sue.trombley@ironmountain.com