Confronted with information management challenges, organisations often operate on a reactive basis, developing ad hoc solutions to specific problems as they arise. Because of this, many document management programmes are rife with duplicated procedures, non-standard methods and process inefficiencies. As a result, companies become exposed to unnecessary risks and costs, and miss out on opportunities to add business value.
It’s time to take a step back and view information management as a critical process on a par with more traditional business operations. But few organisations have the time or expertise to build an information management programme that meets today’s spiraling needs – as well as being ready for whatever the future holds.
That’s where working with a knowledgeable partner and leveraging a hosted solution can make a all the difference. We can help you quickly reach a new level of information management capability, without a major up-front investment in software, hardware and in-house skills.
Here are Iron Mountain’s eight top tips for getting your information management programme back on track through the use of outsourcing and hosted solutions.
You Only Pay for What You Want
The investment in procuring and operating a modern, enterprise-class document management system is significant – but many solutions offer high-end features, such as workflow, that few small and medium-sized businesses need.
Hosted document management solutions offer a usage-based cost model that allows you to pay only for the services you need and the volume you process. What’s more, we are responsible for hardware and software upgrades and that cost is prorated across all organisations using our service. So you gain access to technology and methodologies – without having to spend your limited capital.
Document Management Demands a Specialist Solution
The average business produces a massive volume of documents, which makes locating and retrieving vital records in a timely fashion a major challenge. In addition, files are frequently organised by non-standard indexing schemes that do not support enterprise-wide access methods.
A single-source supplier for document management solutions can help limit operational and legal risks by holistically managing your information assets. With document management as our core business, we develop best practices and expertise based on hundreds of customer engagements.
We Work With You to Meet Your Challenges
IDC estimates that a typical enterprise with 1,000 knowledge workers wastes between £17 and £24 million per year either searching for non-existent information, failing to find existing information or recreating information that cannot be found. These estimates are supported by other research that shows that professionals spend up to 50% of their time looking for information, and between 5% and 15% of their time reading it.
Hosted document management solutions can be up and running in a matter of weeks, compared to the months it takes to evaluate, procure and install an in-house solution. This easy access to the information your workers need speeds time to value, accelerates decision-making and increases productivity.
Chain of Custody is Vital
Maintaining a strong chain of custody for documents is essential for minimising business risk. With in-house document management solutions, physical records are often moved from off site storage facilities to be scanned at another location and then returned for re-filing. Every step introduces an opportunity for the loss or misfiling of documents.
By choosing a single-source provider for records storage and document management, chain of custody risks are mitigated. Physical documents can be retrieved, scanned and re-filed in a single location, so that the paper file never leaves the security of your premises. In addition, document level audit trails are maintained. This can be extremely valuable if your organisation is ever required to produce document histories for legal or regulatory reasons.
Hybrid Solutions Drive Efficient Document Management
Managing documents with unstructured content and in non-standard formats requires a high level of cross-process co-ordination. This can consume more business and information technology resources than most organisations realise. With documents stored in paper file cabinets, record storage boxes in distributed locations or electronic files in multiple applications, this diverse storage environment makes rapid information access a challenge.
A hybrid document management solution combines the cost-effectiveness of traditional paper storage for the bulk of your records, with the speed, convenience and cost savings of digital access. Files are kept in paper format, but scanned and digitised on demand according to business needs. Only a single-source provider offering physical records storage and outsourced document management can deliver the efficiency of this hybrid model.
Give Your Workers Control
In today’s find-it-yourself, search-engine-enabled world, employees demand self-service document access and management tools. As a result, the document management specialist’s role has changed from records gatekeeper to an information access coach or mentor.
As such, it’s important that digital file access and management is given to end users – the people who know the documents, their business uses and access requirements. A hosted document management system must support this need, with intelligent scanning and image capture features supported by a digitisation process that addresses the specific requirements of each document type. And as documents are imaged, they should be made available to meet your specific requirements – via an FTP site, in an ECM-ready form or via a hosted repository.
Create a Plan Based on Best Practices
Few organisations have the resources or expertise to overhaul their information management strategy and implement solutions. And with businesses being constantly challenged to do more with less, this complex task frequently falls to the bottom of the to-do list.
When outsourced specialists provide document management solutions, companies can rest easy knowing that conversion process, retention schedule, information security and privacy best practices are being maintained and consistently followed. This approach, with appropriate supervision on your part, reduces the risk of compliance violations and associated costs.
Change Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
Changing information management strategy and processes can be easier than you imagine. An experienced records management partner can address the most complex records management challenges more effectively and cost-efficiently than your own people can. You also get a holistic solution that will return significant additional value because the component elements work together seamlessly and remove any duplication of effort.
Information has a Life of Its Own, We’re to Help at Every Stage
We can help you take care of your information at every stage of its life, cut costs and improve efficiencies.
Analyse and Advise
Store and Protect
Scan and Digitise
A Partner You Can Trust
Whatever your size or business sector, we offer specialist service built on these key principles:
For nearly 60 years, we have been the trusted partner of companies large and small. We operate from more than 1000 facilities worldwide.
With our secure facilities, vetted teams and optimised processes, your information is always in safe hands.
Our strength and depth of knowledge is embedded within our people, processes and technologies. Understanding compliance challenges enables us to help you get the most from your information assets while reducing costs.
Our commitment to service excellence gives you 24-hour support every day.
By helping you reduce the information you need to keep, and recycling what you don’t, we can help you fulfill your own sustainability commitments.