9 reasons to outsource your legacy records cleanup


Paper records, mountains of files amassed over decades, are blocking agencies' IT modernisation initiatives. Cleanup of legacy records can be overwhelming and resource-intensive, taking employees away from core responsibilities. It's a big job. Don't do it yourself. See what factors are important when selecting a partner to help with your digitisation projects.

29 March 202312 mins
9 Reasons to Outsource Your Legacy Records Cleanup
Legacy records cleanup is a continuous disposition process across the information management lifecycle. It is an essential step for any government agency’s end-to-end information management modernization journey. Even so, the cleanup of inventory can be overwhelming and resource-intensive, taking employees away from core responsibilities.

Agencies moving toward digitalization and data accessibility can get bogged down when:

  • Locating files takes too long
  • Decisions about file disposition — retain, digitize, or destroy — become overwhelming
  • Lack of governance and organization (e.g., commingled record types with mixed destruction dates) slows disposition
  • Staff lacks cost-effective tools for organizing files

It’s a big job. Don’t do it yourself. Experience has shown that agencies are well-served by outsourcing this function to a reliable third party. A capable partner will provide the expertise and technology needed to deliver project success.

Benefits of outsourcing

A partner with commercial and government information management expertise coupled with a well-constructed outsourcing plan will help agencies transition from tactical “cleanup” to a mature, governance-based information management process.

  1. Identify and prioritize vital information. Sending files off-site compels agencies to review them for relevance. It’s important to identify, and keep close, assets that will be needed regularly. Equally important is determining which files will be needed on an occasional basis.
  2. Boost efficiency. When agencies ship out extraneous records, they streamline business processes and improve customer service. Removing low value or inactive information results in fewer yet more relevant records on hand and faster workflow.
  3. Improve security. NARA-compliant offsite storage facilities can offer intrusion detection, such as alarm systems, fire detection and suppression equipment, and in some cases, onsite security personnel.
  4. Ensure disaster recovery and business continuity. Not all disasters or interruptions are on the scale of hurricanes and earthquakes. Even small magnitude disasters can halt agency operations. In such scenarios, quick access to important records is vital to resuming mission activities.
  5. Comply with regulations. Federal and state regulations mandate proper protection and destruction of sensitive data residing in records. Outsourcing can help meet these mandates and provide proof of compliance.
  6. Fulfill legal discovery and audit requests. Rarely used records can thwart quick fulfillment of audit requests, increasing the likelihood of penalties and legal fees.
  7. Make better use of talent. Up to 70 percent of government employees cite having to enter the same data into multiple systems to do their jobs. Instead of managing and maintaining records, that time could be spent on higher-level business functions. In most cases, employees deliver more value when they focus on critical mission-support work.
  8. Reduce costs. Outsourcing records storage can help agencies reduce its overall office footprint by 15 to 55 percent. Agencies are able to use (and pay for) only the space they require to maintain current inventory.
  9. Gain control through governance. Records that are properly labeled, indexed, and stored provide better end-to-end information management. Search, retrieve and locate records quickly, reducing turnaround time from days to minutes.

Finding the right partner

The right partner understands the complete information management cycle andhow to optimize the way records are handled, indexed, secured, and protected.Iron Mountain Government Solutions recommends that agencies consider anumber of factors when selecting a partner.

Access on-demand. Record requests often must be fulfilled within hours. And rigorouschain-of-custody procedures and safeguards protect against data breaches or losswhen moving files.

Data type. If you have sensitive data, the partner you choose to work with must havecleared personnel on staff to manage those documents.

Ongoing Intelligent Document Processing (IDP). Look for a partner who offers IDPservices, not just a legacy scanning process, a capability that pays off when an agencyneeds immediate access to a critical file.

A controlled environment. Storage conditions are critical to the preservation of files,especially for long-term storage. Round-the-clock monitoring and physical safetymeasures keep records safe. Know the protocols and physical features of a potentialpartner storage facility, including the distance between files and the floor.

Single source. Having one vendor that can do it all—IDP, storing, destroying, andretrieving—streamlines the process of cleaning up files. Improving file management willenable your agency to retrieve the right document at the right time.

It all starts with a conversation. Connect with our team to have a discussion on how to streamline your legacy records cleanup, and how Iron Mountain Government Solutions can serve as your outsourced partner of choice. Contact us at publicsector@ironmountain.com.

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