RIM Policy Matters: Keep Up With Ever-Changing Regulations

Topics: Govern Information | Information management: Best Practice Guides | Information Management: New Thinking

Tracking and implementing records retention updates calls for getting expert legal help from a trusted partner.

Tracking records retention regulations is sort of like keeping track of Madonna's hairstyles: On Monday, you may have been on top of the situation, but then she shows up at an awards show with an auburn bouffant, and you're once again behind the curve.

Of course, not knowing Madge's latest fashion turn is an offense you can live with. However, slipping up on your organization's regulatory updates is the beginning of a seriously costly story. Noncompliance can result in hefty fines, legal actions, and a revenue-losing hit to your organization's reputation.

Retention Updates: Consider a Two-Pronged Approach

Tracking and implementing records retention updates calls for getting expert legal help from a trusted partner. Its experts can leverage the latest technology to modernize your retention program with automation-enabled, system-wide changes.

The ideal partner should provide:

  • Curated legal research from local legal teams
  • The means to implement and communicate new guidelines throughout all of your enterprise's RIM-enabled systems
  • A cloud-based system for sharing retention schedules throughout your content infrastructure
  • A complete audit trail for each policy change

What's Hindering Your Modernization Plans?

Are you unsure of the need to modernize? Consider two very formidable reasons for working through your indecision:

1. Industry-specific regulation headaches

Depending on your field, following the regulatory trail can become an elaborate process. In the financial services industry, for example, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) might tackle an issue already addressed by federal law. Then the Treasury Department may later decide to regulate this same area with its own rules.

For firms that fail to keep up with regulations, the stakes can be high—going beyond even large fines. For example, in the healthcare field, executives and board members can be held accountable for noncompliance of the rules governing patient-information security.

2. Global expansion that's only multiplying the angst

Have you opened up a branch in Berlin? A back office in Bangalore? Don't forget that U.S. companies must learn a whole new set of retention rules every time they expand into another country. You may need to know, for example:

  • The regulations governing retention of personnel records
  • Permitted media for storage of sensitive information
  • What constitutes private information in that particular country

Some expansions may call for major changes to your retention schedule, while others won't even register a blip on the screen.

Don't Just Update—Empower Change

While updating your retention policy is a huge part of maintaining compliance, your efforts may flounder without an equally as assertive plan for streamlining the distribution of those rules and guidelines. You'll want Web-based updates that your team can share with stakeholders across the enterprise. Legal research should be easy to search so employees can access precisely what they need, likely from the cloud, which has unlimited capacity to hold retention guidelines and schedules.

With such a system in place, your stakeholders—no matter where they work—will be able to access cloud-based retention schedules for easy collaboration. You'll ultimately enable your employees to accept or decline changes on a regular basis and minimize manual intervention.

With a trusted partner at your side, you can rest easy knowing you have taken critical steps toward ensuring compliance—and you can go back to your celebrity stalking, knowing that your regulatory affairs back at the office are in secure hands.

Do you have questions about records and information management? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain's Information Management team. You'll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.


Records Management Solution Brief
Records Management Solution Brief

Topics: Govern Information

With Iron Mountain Records Management services, you'll have the resources you need to effectively store and safeguard your information assets, and make them easily accessible to individuals across your organization.