April 25, 2017
Don’t Let Legacy Technology Hold You Back: Key Reasons to Upgrade Your RM Software
The decision to upgrade legacy records management software can seem daunting, especially with major considerations such as budget, business continuity, and end-user adoption. However, it’s important to evaluate to what extent your legacy system is adversely affecting process efficiencies.
Here are some key reasons to consider upgrading your records management software:
1. New features and business-critical integrations
Modern records & information management software has both feature functionality and integration capabilities that legacy systems lack.
New features include automated workflows for approvals, retention and disposition, in addition to advanced reporting & file tracking abilities. These help records management & information governance professionals manage retention schedules and disposition with confidence, with built-in retention scheduling and email notification alerts for approvals.
Integrations with document management, enterprise content management, and off-site storage providers enable organizations to bring disparate parts of their records management together in one ecosystem. Integrations often yield better productivity since processes can be managed from one application.
It’s important to evaluate the impact of these new features and integrations for your organization’s productivity and compliance. As the RIM & IG profession evolves, so will the need for a dynamic, responsive application.
2. New-user adoption and onboarding challenges
Using a legacy software product can create challenges for new users and have a negative effect on user adoption rates.
This is especially critical in the records management field, as more long-time RIM professionals begin to retire. This trend will create a gap between long-time professionals and new talent, most of whom will lack familiarity and ‘tribal’ knowledge of legacy systems.
3. Product is no longer supported by vendor
Going forward, it will become increasingly difficult to find qualified technical support for a legacy system that’s no longer supported.
Without a supported product, your organization will be missing critical items such as software and security updates, performance updates, and deepened or new integrations with relevant providers.
4. Scalability and technology needs
New (or newer versions of) RM software can be built on an architecture that meets your organization’s platform, scalability, and technology needs. With cloud or on-premises deployment options, a browser-based application, and multiple licenses & user permissions, modern systems are easier to scale to any size and business need.
When legacy systems reach end-of-life status, there’s a possibility that the application will not operate on newer infrastructure or platforms. This can create unnecessary incompatibility issues and cause significant inefficiencies.
Before making an upgrade decision, remember to ask, ‘does our current records management software truly satisfy our business needs?’. If not, use the above key points to evaluate the ROI that an efficient, updated system can provide your organization.
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March 30, 2017
Scalability Without Compromising Security: Controlled Decentralized Records Management via RM Software
Enterprise-level management of records and information can be complex due to the increasing compliance demands facing many organizations. Today, it is vital for records and information managers to have an efficient, secure, and scalable solution in place to properly maintain organizations’ information assets.
With physical and digital records to maintain, records managers can face a variety of challenges, such as locating lost records, tracking approvals, calculating retention schedules, and even enforcing workflows.
A browser or web-based records management software application can be an extremely useful tool for eliminating those challenges while simultaneously providing a compliance-driven platform that efficiently decentralizes records management without sacrificing data integrity and security.
Contemporary, well-designed records management software transforms the way teams manage information assets and offers these key advantages:
1. Leveraging technology
With browser-based records management software, available on-premises or in the cloud, organizations can quickly deploy the application across the enterprise instantly – no need for time-intensive installations for each PC.
Coupling this “thin” client architecture with the latest software functionality can revolutionize an organization’s records management processes, automating and simplifying previously time-consuming tasks. Notable features include:
- Configurable filtering of data by organizational or functional definition
- A comprehensive audit trail of all end-user activity, reviewable for alert and correction
- Collaborative, email-based notifications, automating previously labor-intensive workflows
- Online approval for disposition of records
- Provision of siloed file-level tracking to interested business units
2. Operational efficiency
The right information in the right hands at the right time optimizes operations and drives productivity. Providing business users with immediate access to relevant records reduces the time spent locating and processing information while streamlining every day workflows.
An enterprise-wide solution also offers a standardized framework – minimizing the user learning curve and reducing errors in record creation, retention scheduling, and disposition approvals.
3. Responsibility shift between records owners, custodians, and management
From a best practice perspective, records owners should be the primary responsible party for the management of records from point of creation throughout its active life cycle; custodians while it is inactive; and management tasked with designing and overseeing the entire process, with special emphasis upon the classification and eventual disposition of the record.
Contemporary records management software solutions offer just that – a common, intuitive interface enabling each player in the records management game to do their part, keeping the responsibility where it should lie.
A well-designed records management software application decentralizes records and information management and creates a more structured, organized environment. With a browser-based software solution, organizations can achieve the scalability of a decentralized system without losing the security and structure of the more traditional ones.
It not only provides a standardized framework that governs how users access, track, and manage records and information but also improves efficiency – something that upper management across all industries strives to achieve.
Investing in a records management software solution can drastically improve your organization’s ability to track and maintain vital information.
March 1, 2017
3 Ways Integrations Can Help Manage Physical & Electronic Records Together
As the records and information landscape shifts to an increasingly hybrid environment, managing physical and electronic records together has become a challenge for many organizations. The reality is that organizations are generating (and held responsible for) more information than ever due to the reliability of paper documents and the proliferation of electronic records.
With the increasing amount of records and information organizations are required to manage, it can be difficult to find a single solution that meets all needed requirements. If your organization is faced with managing both physical and electronic records, take advantage of available software integrations that can provide a bridge between electronic and/or physical records management providers. Here are three ways integrations can help:
1. Associate electronic records with their physical record counterpart
An option included in many physical records management (PRM) software solutions is the ability to add multiple digital file types as either stand-alone records or in association with an existing physical record. Various file types are included, such as (DOC, .DOCX, .JPEG, .JPG, .PDF, .XLS, .XLSX, .CPY, .CSV, .LNK, .MSG, .TIF, .TXT, .PNG, .PPT, .GIF, .OFT). Then, when a hard-copy record is requested, it can be scanned and the resulting image, rather than the physical record, delivered.
2. Ensure similar functionality across both platforms
An integration between ECM and PRM solutions should also provide universal records functionality such as federated searching, global update capability, and shared records retention management, regardless of media type.
3. Get the benefits of both systems
If your organization already has an ECM solution and is looking to procure a PRM system, consider an integration rather than purchasing a separate, disconnected system. Today, physical records management software integrates with various enterprise content management providers, increasing users’ ability to perform actions like searching, requesting, and retention management for both physical and electronic documents.
Optional, add-on integrations can be an efficient, cost-effective way to increase your organization’s ability to manage physical and electronic records without investing in new, stand-alone software solutions.
January 31, 2017
5 Reasons to Consider the Value Proposition of Advanced Retention
Today many organizations are faced with the challenge of expanding regulatory compliance despite shrinking budgets. When evaluating records management tools, many product features are available and often offered as tiered packaged solutions and/or as a core feature set with the option to add additional modules.
Due to the development expertise needed, advanced retention is sometimes not a part of most basic product packages. Advanced retention supports both time and event-based retention schedules, general retention schedules, automated disposition notices, citations and legal holds reference, and meta-data association with records.
While it may be tempting to opt for the lower cost option, if your organization manages records with any significant fiscal and/or legal value, consider these 5 reasons to include advanced retention in your records management solution.
1. Cost of storing paper records
Advanced retention notifies users when records are up for destruction. This allows organizations to have control and knowledge of the records that need to be kept vs. destroyed. Most paper record storage costs are calculated per box and per cubic foot.
Example: A standard legal or letter box is 1.2 cubic feet. If you have 1,000 boxes, at a monthly storage cost of 19 cents per cubic foot, the cost of storing those boxes for 5 years is $13,680. If we estimate a 30% reduction in the number of boxes due to scheduled destruction, it reduces the 5-year cost to $9,576.
Total savings: $4,104. While it does cost to destroy records, storing excess paper records is more costly in the long-term. Also as a part of a solid retention policy, it is important to identify which records will be considered official to avoid storing (and paying for) duplicate physical records.
2. Increase efficiency & productivity
When calculating labor costs, time equals money. Advanced retention provides filtering mechanisms facilitating rapid and accurate classification. The longer it takes an employee to classify a record under the proper series, the less time they spend on the operational tasks for which they are responsible within an organization.
Also, imagine the productivity possibilities – instead of searching for records that are or could be eligible for destruction, an employee can spend time learning a new skill or improving a process he or she manages.
3. Process Improvement
One, or often multiple approvals are required before a record meets its final demise. Get automatic updates that notify a pre-determined list of approvers to review records that are eligible for destruction. These notifications are not only convenient, they also establish an audit trail of legally defensible approvals.
4. Comprehensive reporting
Most records managers are required to produce and maintain disposition process reporting. Instead of spending hours sifting through rows in a spreadsheet, get instant results and spend time analyzing trends for process improvement or cost reduction.
Standard retention often lacks automatic disposition functionality and requires a manual review for records that are nearing the end of their life cycle. Reporting tools allow managers to make informed decisions, creating a data-driven environment with an emphasis on continuous improvement.
5. Avoid exposure to legal action
Perhaps the most important reason advanced retention is worth the investment is reducing exposure to legal action. When properly implemented, retention policies protect organizations from claims of improper records management practices. With advanced retention, a comprehensive audit trail is created automatically, detailing approvals, changes, and any meta-data associated with the destruction process.
Advanced retention is like an insurance policy: the upfront cost may be higher but when something happens, the cost of not having it far outweighs the initial investment. If information is requested of your organization, advanced retention tools provide verification, visibility, and compliance that could mitigate significant financial losses.
December 15, 2016
3 Tips for a Successful Records Management Software Implementation
Implementing a new records management solution within your organization can involve numerous project management tasks. There’s allocation of internal resources, deadlines to consider, and budgets to meet. Learn how to reduce unforeseen schedule conflicts and cost issues with these key considerations.
1. Define Project Decision-Makers
Often initial project meetings happen via conference call and involve multiple people, including end-users, IT leadership, or other individual contributors. While these meetings allow teams to share opinions and build consensus, it’s important to define the decision-makers prior to the kick-off meeting with your software vendor.
Both physical and electronic records management software can feature extensive design flexibility and various customization options. Be sure there is no ambiguity when communicating design or feature decisions to your software vendor to avoid additional development time and cost due to miscommunication.
2. Understand Your Legacy Data
It seems simple in theory but understanding your organization’s legacy data is key to keeping your records management software implementation on schedule.
Prior to the initial kick-off, be sure to allocate sufficient resources that can be available to collaborate with your software provider during the data clean-up process. Take time to review all current data sources and data constraints. A lengthy data clean-up can add unexpected time at the start of the project.
3. Third-Party Vendor Integrations
In the initial stages of implementation, notify your third-party ECM software and/or storage vendors such as Iron Mountain, O’Neil, Andrews, DHS, and DocuData as soon as possible. Building this step early in the implementation schedule allows sufficient time to request resource identification for integrations with the new records management system.
Resource constraints, timeline issues, and communication challenges are sometimes unavoidable during major software implementations. In addition to selecting an experienced software provider, take time to consider these items to ensure your team delivers a smooth, successful records management software solution.
December 19, 2013
A Look Inside at Infolinx
Take a peek inside Infolinx with Michael and meet John, one of our programmers.
August 5, 2013
Searching for a SRC Box in Infolinx
Two years ago the Library of Virginia implemented Infolinx WEB for the Virginia State Archives and the State Records Center. This year they've upgraded to Infolinx WEB 3.2 and have created some screencast tutorials on using the new version of Infolinx WEB.
April 22, 2013
The Executive Order
A new executive order, which *ahem* may not be very official, states that all government organizations that would like to purchase enterprise physical records management software without going through the hassle of bidding it out, must now purchase Infolinx WEB through their convenient GSA schedule!GSA eLibrary - SpacesaverInfolinx
December 19, 2012
The Magic of Santa
Santa brings toys to millions of children every year at Christmas. Millions of toys, millions of presents... how does he keep track of everything? Good records management of course.
November 5, 2012
We made this video to humorously portray the importance of using a records management system to avoid losing files, as well as using retention schedules to properly manage the storage time for each record.
October 9, 2012
Find That File
Keeping track of files in the business world can be tough. Doing it without records management software is just impossible.