Thursday, 25 April 2013

Why Offsite Record Storage is Something Most Businesses Need: By Steven Hastert

Why Offsite Record Storage is Something Most Big Businesses Need

record storage racks
Nowadays, most businesses have enormous amounts of data for which they must account and manage. This includes added equipment to handle all these electronic records or storage areas to accommodate paper records. Government record-retention requirements for tax and business purposes can make record retention a cumbersome and costly task. Business IT departments have to add records management to the growing list of responsibilities when managing computer systems, networks, software and electronic documents.


Most businesses retain copies of paper documents for at least seven years, some as long as the business is old. When it comes to accommodating several years of documents onsite, the task is cumbersome and hard to manage. Besides having to sort through paperwork manually, on-site record storage takes up valuable office space. Hiring a company to come in and scan all of these documents into an electronic system is one way to offload onsite record storage; another is to choose an offsite storage facility where it may be cheaper to keep business records.

Increased Security

Most of the records a business must keep include proprietary and confidential information. Onsite storage can create security problems and give access to these records to employees or people who should not have access. By moving records to an electronic document management company or offsite records storage, the only people who can gain access to these documents are those previously authorized to do so. Besides the added security, offsite record storage also provides added protection against catastrophes and disasters that may occur.

Time-Saving Search Features

Before sending your records to an offsite storage facility, they are cataloged, categorized and imprinted with a bar code that identifies file contents. This information is added to an office storage company's database, which makes it easy to search for needed records. Instead of having to troll through countless file boxes to find archived or important documents, simple computer search features allow quick and easy access to documents. Most documents can be retrieved within the same or next day of a request.

Protection Against Disasters

One of the most important features of using an offsite storage facility or electronic document management company is the protection offered to businesses' most important documents. When catastrophe strikes in the form of earthquakes, weather problems, floods or other unforeseen disasters at your business location, important documents are kept safe and secure. Most offsite storage companies plan for catastrophes and disasters to accommodate record storage.

Disaster Recovery Plan

Businesses need to consider adding offsite storage for important computer backup programs. By moving important backups from the business location to an offsite storage facility, a failsafe is in place in the event of a disaster. It's important for businesses to develop a disaster recovery plan that includes step-by-step priorities of re-establishing the business. Oftentimes, a company can find online templates to help create a disaster recovery plan. To get a business up and running after such a disaster, having backups at a different location can speed the process along.

Compare Plans and Prices

The state and federal governments use offsite storage companies to archive important and historical documents. If the government uses these resources, it makes sense for business as well. When considering an offsite record storage or electronic documents management company, check the reputation of the company. Review business references and select a company such as File Solutions Ltd, with proven records of accomplishment. Choose File Solutions Ltd, a company that will keep pace with your business needs.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Poor Information Governance Leads can be Costly

Records Management: Poor Information Governance Leads can be Costly

Poor record keeping is causing businesses problems — problems with regulators, auditors and courts.  31 percent of businesses have reported governance issues with their records and documents.   That’s according to a new white paper by AIIM on information governance with a special focus on Records Management and eDiscovery.
The report found a correlation between poor information governance and increased costs relative to litigation and damages.  For those companies that have put good information governance policies in place, in addition to a smaller chance of facing litigation problems, those businesses also typically saw reduction in their storage costs, had better methods for sharing of ‘knowledge resources’, and managed to be able to more quickly respond to events.
Another area the report identified as a problem area with many businesses is email archiving.  About a third have a problem enforcing the storing of duplicate copies of emails, with copies potentially on desktops, laptops and mobile devices.  12 percent of businesses report not even establishing an email archiving policy, much less enforcing it.  Further, most email policies rely on the manual selection, tagging and classifying of emails.  Gradually more automated techniques for identifying important emails are being adopted, but that is happening slowly.  Automated email archiving techniques are expected to improve the results from search and discovery, and also allow retention schedules to be automatically assigned to documents and records so that they can be later identified for destruction when they are no longer needed.
Another set of data included in the report concerned the use of paper.  The report concludes that the demise of paper isn’t here yet, but one interesting statistic uncovered  is that there is  a ‘checkered picture’ phenomenon relative to companies adopting electronic documents versus those who still stick with primarily paper documents.  The report found that many businesses have embraced electronic documents while another group still clings to the use of paper.  42 percent of organizations say that the amount of paper which they need to manage continues to grow.  But 34 percent now say that the amount of paper they manage is decreasing.  Larger companies are more inclined to be reducing their reliance on paper documents.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Records Management Trivia

Here's a trivia question to challenge your records management knowledge: What is the cost in productivity that is lost per worker, per year, due to the inability to find data they need to do their job?