RIM Therapy: Fly Higher With a Little Help From Your Vendor
Are compliance demands stressing you out? Does your RIM program seem a tad dysfunctional? If so, you need help from a professional. Here are six ways a trusted partner can provide peace of mind.
Therapy. It was once a whispered taboo, until Woody Allen made it en vogue. And over the years, "getting help" has become as commonplace as car repair. So why not get some support when you're stressed out and need it most? You may find some great benefits from seeking professional expertise.
The same holds true for your records management challenges. The stresses of managing your records (among them, meeting regulatory demands, keeping information safe, cutting costs) could benefit from a little expert counsel.
Most companies have made records management a priority. But they may lack the in-house expertise or resources to optimize their RIM programs. In a recent Cohasset study, 87 percent of organizations report having a records and information management program in place, but many say these programs are underserved. In fact, 47 percent of them have dedicated four or fewer full-time staff members to RIM initiatives.
Six Ways to a Saner Records Management Program
A third-party vendor can relieve your stress and mitigate any dysfunction in your RIM program by doing the following:
1. Securing your records offsite. Want to free up much-needed office space and records-management demands? A partner can store your records in a highly secure climate-controlled environment, charging you only for the space you use.
Bonus Tip: Be sure to select a vendor that can collect your records from other storage providers and consolidate them under a single set of policies.
2. Establishing and maintaining an intelligent scanning program. As tempting as it is to convert everything to digital files, that's a costly and unnecessary proposition. A discerning partner can get your physical records into a more searchable, accessible format, while scanning others. This metered, case-by-case approach spares your team the time-consuming drama of an all-inclusive conversion program.
3. Indexing and classifying your information. Using metatags, you can identify information by its type, creation date and author, among other descriptors. Many paper records lack the required metadata that eases organization and retrieval. A partner can provide this missing metadata and reclassify your documents.
4. Creating and following strict retention schedules. Keeping up with regulatory requirements and possible legal demands on your records management program is a full-time job. Let a partner bear the burden and free up your own staff to take care of the more dynamic aspects of your business.
5. Securely destroying records. An experienced and trusted partner can destroy your records according to privacy and regulatory requirements. It should be able to demonstrate a set of proven, tested internal protocols, tested over time, to certify secure destruction.
6. Uniting stakeholders by developing and maintaining policies. By creating the right mix of procedures and policies, a trusted partner can bring together different factions within a company. By doing so, their needs can be better met, and you'll avoid conflicts among various stakeholders.
Regulators continue to put pressure on businesses to get their records in order. At the same time, your organization is relying more on your information reserves to gain a competitive edge. Clearly, it's time to seek professional help. When you let a trusted partner keep your RIM program healthy and functional, you can unload your stress and get back to work.
Iron Mountain Recommends:
Four Starting Questions to Ask Your RIM Partner
Like therapists, not all third-party vendors are the same. The one you choose will make all the difference in the type of care your RIM program will receive. Ask these four questions to see if a vendor is right for your company:
1. What security measures does your firm take to safeguard customer records?
2. Do you have an indexing and tracking system? What are some of its salient features?
3. How quickly could we retrieve records on demand?
4. Do you provide records consolidation services?
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.