With eDiscovery such a hot topic these days, one of the more important things that enterprises need to do is ensure their information is stored in an accurate and easy to find manner. IT Consultancy firm Paragon Solutions has created a Records Management Maturity Model that will help you determine where you are in the process of doing just that and what you can do to move from one stage of the model to the next.
The Records Management Maturity Model executive briefing was written by Paragon's life sciences records management program leader Douglas Vargo. Vargo is also an industry speaker on Records Management best practices.
The Model outlines the five stages a typical enterprise goes through to achieve a solid Records Management strategy.
The first two phases, Phase 1: Initial and Phase 2: Fundamental are the beginning phases when process and policies are first being identified and defined. According to Paragon, it's during these first two phases that enterprises are at the most risk of compliance failures and potential litigation. One assumes this is because at this point it's all talk and no action.
As an enterprise moves into Phases 3 and 4: Defined and Managed, the Records Management functions and processes are put into action and the appropriate roles and responsibilities assigned. Now things are getting a bit safer.
Finally Stage 5: Optimized is all about optimizing the processes and policies by ensuring they are integrated with the day to day business. It also shows the interaction between Compliance, Legal, IT and RM groups is seamless. Paragon says not all companies need to get to this level:
"Companies, regardless of size, may have a different perspective on risk based upon current or past experiences," Vargo explained. "If a company has gone through many litigations or compliance challenges they may feel the need to strive for a higher level of maturity. Others may feel that for their specific needs achieving level 5 is not required; that they can effectively manage risk at level 4."
Important to note that although Records Management initiatives have been employed for many years for paper-based documents, many enterprise are just starting to develop processes and policies on electronic documents. As a result, there are many software vendors out there enhancing their records management solutions to include these electronic documents.
Does this mean that an enterprise who already has an established practice for paper-based records management needs to throw it away and start fresh? The answer may be that it depends on the practice employed and the technical solution used. Not all technical solutions support both types of records management or the ability to connect or integrate with different solutions.
To request a copy of the executive briefing, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org