Recent Iron Mountain research found UK legal firms struggle to manage the volumes of private and sensitive information that flow through their organisation.
In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—an EU-wide legislation affecting how organisations store and retain personal data—will take effect. Its aim is to protect the privacy rights of European citizens, in light of growing concerns about the security of personal data. It changes the way personal information is collected, managed and protected. Companies that do not comply risk severe fines.
To acheive compliance and sound document retention policies, experts recommend that organisations move away from paper-based and analog records and towards digital record retention.
Digitising is useful because it speeds up the information process, keeps protocols streamlined, reduces the cost of physical storage, and makes sharing and collaborating easier. Consider the below quick-start guide you’re jumping-off point to organisation-wide digital record retention.
- Assess the situation
Understand where your documents are located, how different departments handle their documents and what technology or technologies are in place. Find out if other digitising projects have taken place and if they were successful or not.
- Define Goals
Define exactly why and how you want to digitise your documents. Is your primary driving factor cost savings and the reduction of physical storage? Or do you need to improve collaboration among employees that may work remotely? The answers to these questions will impact your strategy moving forward.
- Examine Processes
With your goals in mind, assess the manual and paper-intensive processes by finding out what areas of the organisation manual paper storage is most troublesome.
Sift through documents, prioritising by how important each one is.
- Make the case
Secure records and information management depends on the involvement of every organisation across the business. One weak link could make the difference in compliance. Make the business case for digitisation to everyone—from IT to finance, compliance, and even shareholders.
- Plan and Evaluate
Plan and evaluate your steps moving forward. Explore how having one streamlined process could positively impact your business.
Digitisation can have a profound impact on records governance, including easier collaboration, greater savings, and more streamlined protocols. To learn more, read the eBook Document Retention in UK Legal Firms.