How to Digitise Legal Records: A Six-step Guide

By: In: Legal Sector On: Jan 11, 2017
How to Digitise Legal Records: A Six-step Guide

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.

Why Digitisation?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Prioritise

Sift through documents, prioritising by how important each one is.

  1. 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.

  1. Plan and Evaluate

Plan and evaluate your steps moving forward. Explore how having one streamlined process could positively impact your business.

Next Steps

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.


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About the author

John Apthorpe

John Apthorpe, Commercial Director, Iron Mountain John Apthorpe heads up Iron Mountain’s business services sector in the UK. His primary objective is to lead and drive commercial strategy and business development activities across a range of large corporate organisations and ensure Iron Mountain is the market leader in records and information management. Prior to joining Iron Mountain in 2005, John was with IT content delivery firm Akamai, where he was responsible for the sale and implementation of cloud based SaaS solutions for customers. With over 20 years experience, John has also held a number of senior roles with IT companies. His experience of working with large corporate clients extends to organisations from all industry sectors, although he has specialised in working with commercial organisations including Iron Mountain’s largest energy clients over the past three years. John holds an MBA from Henley Management College and a BA (Hons) in business studies.