Return on Information - Is It the New ROI?
Information forms the core of every essential business process. When a firm has fast access to it, that data can fuel business development, improve customer service
and help you develop operations efficiencies.
Gaining that quick access, while still keeping a growing landslide of information secure requires an investment: You can maximize your ROI, in this case "return on
information," by investing in records management best practices.
Managing Information With an Eye on Returns
Successful organizations maximize their ROI by organizing their records information
management (RIM) with the potential business value of each type of information asset in mind.
Take the following steps to do the same.
Step 1: Consolidate paper records.
According to AIIM,
42 percent of organizations say their volume of paper is increasing, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary. In some cases, paper records can take up 35 percent of
office space, AIIM says. Problems result, including disorganized files and lost paper. And the cost of wasted office space can be surprisingly high: The floor occupied
by an ordinary filing cabinet can rent for as much as $1,500 a year.
In addition, many organizations store records among multiple storage vendors. Bringing those records to a single vendor can help cut storage costs (think volume discounts).
It also ensures that they're managed under the same set of rules and policies.
Step 2: Get rid of what you don't need.
PwC reports that 36 percent of businesses keep all of their information just in case they need it. That said, there's an excellent chance your company keeps a great deal
of records unnecessarily. This practice can open up your company up to greater liability during legal discovery, since anything you retain is discoverable.
If, however, an organization had a records retention schedule, it could reduce storage costs by 30 percent, according to research done by
Duke Law School. In fact, that research also indicates that 71 percent of companies could reduce their
Step 3: Keep retention schedules up to date.
A records retention schedule categorizes documents according to their statutory retention periods.
Regulations and laws—and therefore, retention rules—change. Choose the retention approach that best suits your company's needs. Sometimes, that means a one-size-fits
all plan. However, it can also call for an exception-based strategy that recognizes individual and unique requirements, while also reducing the complexity of an individual
retention schedule for different stakeholders within an organization. For best results, consider automating as much of the process as possible.
Step 4: Create a global classification scheme.
Classify all your records, using tags to identify record type, date generated, access authorization
and other identifiers. Being as granular as possible makes it easier to follow retention schedules. It also helps you find the most accurate and relevant information for
mining new business opportunities, remaining competitive and operating more efficiently.
When an organization works with a trusted partner to ensure that its information delivers a tangible return, it can save money, deliver more accurate
information and ensure more secure document management. By doing so, it also avoids the potential for a multimillion loss from a breach.
Call it the new ROI, or just good business. Either way, you're talking about a strategy that makes sense.
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.