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Separating RIM truth from fiction
In our first records management myths busting article, “Records and Information Management Myths” we covered three common myths. However, there seems to be no shortage of myths surrounding Records and Information Management so we thought we would bust a few more.
Myth Number 4
Records and Information Management is too costly to implement.
Yes, proper Records and Information Management does cost a fair amount of time and money but you have to ask yourself this, “How costly is it really when you consider that a disaster, whether a force of nature or a legal one, could put your company out of business?”
The fact is, recovering from a disaster or gathering records and documents to fight a court case is far more costly than having a well thought out and implemented Records Management Programme.
With so many potential risks to businesses, from customer claims to failure to adhere to legal retention periods, to sabotage from within or without, to total destruction by asteroids… well maybe scratch that last one. The point is, can you really afford not to have an RIM Programme?
Myth Number 5
Records belong to the staff that created them.
Every company has an over-zealous staff member or three. While such employees are often worth their weight in gold due to their overwhelming belief and commitment to being responsible for the organisation they can at times cause problems when it comes to managing your records.
Often these employees feel that records within their sphere of control should be held on to no matter what. They believe that these records, “might be needed one day” and this belief can give rise to a sense of possession.
The trouble comes in where they start treating them like their own possessions and doing things like taking them home on their USB drive or laptop, which effectively bypasses your records management procedures and puts the organisations data at risk.
What would happen if this key marketing strategy points got into the hands of a competitor? What if the data contained personally identifiable data concerning your customers, and got accidentally uploaded to a social site? The former scenario gives rise to reductions in competitive advantages while the latter scenario gives rise to legal risks especially once the new PoPI act comes into force.
The truth is, company records belong to the company and not the employees of the company. Thus, all records must be within the sphere of control of your company’s RIM Programme without exception.
Myth Number 6
Records Management is boring and suited to people with the disposition of a Librarian.
Yes, Records and Information Management does require a number of skills that a Librarian would commonly possess. A Records Manager like a Librarian should demonstrate logical thinking and ability to organise. They should also wish to adhere to procedures and have a desire for order like a Librarian. They probably should not expect everyone to keep quiet, though.
While it is easy to see why RIM may seem to suit the Librarian type and thus be viewed by many as boring, the truth is it is an ever-changing environment and it offers a great deal of excitement alongside the enormous responsibility and important it holds.
Records Management covers records and documents from their creation, through their use and all the way to their eventual destruction. The amount of strategy and planning required to successfully control the lifecycle of records, both paper and digital are not for the faint of heart.
Changes in technology, retention schedules, access control, and of course ability to easily find and use the records within your organisation make records management an exciting area to work in and one filled with new challenges to keep you on your toes.
Need some more myths busted? Contact Docufile for more information.
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