Free AIIM Records Management Strategies research to download


The underlying principles of records management (RM) were set out in the days when all records were physical, and were mostly generated and stored on paper. Most organizations still follow those principles in the day-to-day practice of managing paper records. After a very slow start, most organizations are also now aware that they need to implement management policies and systems for electronic records. Most RM system deployments have followed the same principles as were applied to traditional paper records regarding declaration, classification, retention and disposition. Indeed, in many companies, electronic record management (ERM) systems serve a dual purpose of managing both physical documents and electronic records.

One of the major benefits of managing and accessing records electronically is that they can be made widely available to the workforce at any geographical location, as a searchable repository for shared knowledge, compliance and litigation support. Ideally, this would take place through a single search and access portal, and, again ideally, the records would be stored under a common classification system, with a single security model and with universal retention policies.

To achieve this degree of enterprise-wide conformity presents a tough challenge even within relatively stable corporate environments, but in recent years it has become a somewhat daunting aspiration due to the sheer volume of potential records being generated. This comes on top of the rapid increase in media types that need to be considered as records, as well as the accumulation of separate document repositories within email, messaging, ERP, CRM, collaboration and line of business systems. Further disruption from on-going mergers and acquisitions simply adds to the challenges.

In this report we compare the adoption and success of traditional approaches, the strategies being considered to

cope with current and future challenges, and the trend of investments in records management solutions.


Key Findings:


- The volume of paper records is finally decreasing. Paper records are decreasing in 41% of organizations, compared to 31% where it is still increasing. This is the first time AIIM has measured a net decrease across all sizes of organization.


- Access to records across the enterprise is still poor: 28% of respondents consider the accessibility of records to employees across their business to be poor or very poor. Only 4% consider it to be excellent - for

example, being able to search an enterprise records system for records from many sources.


- The goal of an enterprise-wide ERM system is still popular but is proving hard to achieve: A single enterprise records management model underlying all content systems is the goal for 58% of respondents.

Only 9% have achieved this, although a further 12% have RM integration across organizational units or subsidiaries. 28% have no RM systems.


- Support is needed at the highest level: Lack of commitment at board-level or C-level is given as the biggest reason for non-adoption of ERM systems, and the difficulty of securing agreement across departments is

also frequently cited.


- Key policies are not in place: Only 16% of organizations have a documented and effective information management strategy. A further 15% have such a policy but it is largely unreferenced. Less than half of even the largest organizations have a risk management plan that includes records management.


- Reduced storage cost joins compliance as the biggest driver: Statutory and industry compliance combine to be the strongest drivers, ahead of reduced storage costs. Sharing and exploiting knowledge comes



- Legal costs could be reduced by a quarter. Most respondents feel that audit costs, legal costs, court costs, fines and damages could be reduced by 25% with best practice records management.


- Poor records practice can severely harm your reputation: 28% have had their records management and security practices criticized or exposed by an auditor in the last three years. 6% have been criticized by a

regulator, 5% by lawyers and 4% (1 in 25) in the press.


- Dealing with emails and agreeing taxonomies are still front of mind: Managing emails as records and agreeing corporate classification systems are the biggest current issues. Social, mobile and cloud are the

least pressing.


- Search and automated classification are taking some of the heavy-lifting: Many organizations (37%) are focusing on search to improve e-discovery and knowledge-sharing. Others (28%) are making increasing use

of automated classification.


- Resources for RM are being increased: A net 36% of organizations are planning increased RM budgets (50% increasing, 14% reducing) and a net 20% are adding dedicated staff resource.


- Spending on system software is set for biggest increase: Spending intentions for dedicated RM systems, RM modules for ECM, e-discovery tools, and email management are high, whereas spend on outsourcing for both physical and electronic records is set to fall.


The full report (26 pages and 28 graphs) is FREE to download at: