How local authorities can meet the challenge of managing information

By: In: Public Sector On: Jul 13, 2016
How local authorities can meet the challenge of managing information

 

In our last blog we looked at some of the challenges local authorities face managing ever increasing amounts of information. Sadly, programmes designed to improve efficiency, such as integration and shared services, seem to be making the situation worse. And while records managers are aware of and concerned about this, senior managers often don’t appreciate the extent of the problem.

Money isn’t everything

Although lack of resources is clearly an issue, the good news is that it’s not all about money. In fact, the greatest barrier to success is an inconsistent, decentralised approach to information management, alongside internal cultural resistance. Senior managers and records managers can both play a significant role in overcoming these obstacles.

Share the changes

Senior managers are in an ideal position to drive cultural change, reduce information risk and enable their organisation to derive greater benefit from the information they hold. Meanwhile, records managers are the specialists who can provide detailed information, analyses and business cases to support senior management in their decision-making around efficiency and risk.

Here are some ways both parties can help initiate and lead that change:

Be part of it. Find out whether your records management team has a steering committee and join it. This will give you access to the data you need to identify issues and drive organisational change.

Lead by example. Demonstrate the importance of good information management – particularly when it comes to reducing risk. Remind your team to log where documents are at all times, keep sensitive information secure, change passwords and lock computers.

Be aware of information. Many records are still on paper – are there processes in your area or department that could be more efficient if paper was removed? Even changes to the way invoices are signed can help reduce the need for paper and streamline everyone’s workload.

Shout about successes. Efficient processes and information security are critical to both your own and your council’s reputation. When you make improvements, spread the word.

 

If you’d like to know more about how you can meet the challenge of managing information within a local authority environment, our new whitepaper, The Challenge of Sharing – Information management in UK local authorities in 2016 and beyond, is now available for download.

How local authorities are coping with the pressure of harnessing information →

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About the author

Phil Greenwood

Phil Greenwood is Country Managing Director & Commercial Director at Iron Mountain responsible for delivering information and records management solutions into the UK's largest Public, Private and NHS customers. Phil directs and runs specialist sector teams aligned to the sector specific requirements of Iron Mountain's clients. These requirements demand innovative solutions that deliver compliance and governance as well as efficiency and cost cutting in order to transform business results and improve the way organisations use their information. Phil has over 10 years' experience working with UK and International records management. He is involved with the UK Information and Records Management Society. Phil has worked within service delivery and customer facing roles, as well as in general management roles within the outsourcing and information management industries. Legally qualified, Phil has also spent time as a fee earner within law firms and has a strong understanding of the way that information and services drive the core business of client organisations.