5 Tips for Digital Record Management

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In an increasingly technological world, enterprises can no longer afford to ignore the importance of digital records management. It’s not enough to simply convert paper files into PDFs and toss the physical records into a storage unit. If faced with eDiscovery, managed services give businesses the tools they need for effective discovery and defense. Yet, adopting an effective strategy is not as simple as it sounds. Here are five mistakes to avoid when it comes to digital records management.

1. Not Having a Plan in Place Before Starting

While a sense of urgency is a great motivator, attempting to implement a records management plan in a big hurry can be disastrous. It’s a much better idea to set up a well-defined program before making a single move; to do otherwise could mean serious backtracking down the road. One option to avoid this possibility is to work with an eDiscovery managed services provider who can help design more effective records management parameters before putting any decisions into action.

2. Waiting Until Under the Gun

Companies who put off the development of a comprehensive digital records management strategy until after they’re already involved in litigation have waited way too long. Coming up with an effectual approach takes time, and also some trial and error. Attempting experimentation while racing to keep ahead of the legal process will mean a slapped together strategy with holes big enough to drive a truck through. Instead, organizations should construct a program while they still have the luxury of time and can afford to play around with the specifics a little. To do otherwise is just asking for trouble.

3. Doing Too Much, Too Soon

Trying to deploy a company-wide records management program all at once often does more harm than good. Most organizations find better success by slowly rolling out new guidelines to one department or location at a time. Then, on a smaller scale, any factors that aren’t working can be caught early on and rectified, allowing for more effective fine-tuning and a better end product by the time the entire enterprise is using the new system. In many ways, this goes back to having a plan in place before starting, per Item #1 on this list.

4. Not Thinking Outside of the Box

Every department or branch has different needs when it comes to records management; assuming that an off-the-shelf strategy is going to work for all of them is just wishful thinking. Instead, it’s a better idea to find an eDiscovery managed services provider who can customize a solution that’s designed to adapt to unique requirements, even within the same organization. Off-the-shelf products typically lack the flexibility to form a realistic records management program in the real world.

5. Failing to Consider the Full Lifecycle

Far too many digital records management policies forget that they need to address not only data that’s already in existence, but also the creation of new data and how to handle deep storage. Planning ahead for migration paths is essential to the success of eDiscovery managed services over the long term. Identifying life cycle elements in advance ensures that the necessary factors will be incorporated into the system to address all aspects of digital records management from inception to beyond.

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