NTI News & Articles

Paper vs. Electronic

Once upon a time, records meant paper documents. They lived in file cabinets, and they were managed and
maintained by secretaries, librarians and archivists who knew the rules, and applied them diligently. When space
for more file cabinets ran out, the records were put in boxes, marked with a destruction date, and shipped out to a
box store (a paper records outsource provider). When the destruction date was reached, the box store would take
care of destroying it, and recording the fact that it had been done.
Nowadays, records exist in electronic form all over the business, often well beyond the reach of the traditional
custodians. So we now need much wider “Information Governance Policies” to ensure that our corporate
information (and our customers’ information) is secure and is easily located. In particular, businesses are
increasingly faced with the possibility of high profile criminal, commercial and patent cases that hinge on evidence
from electronic documents, from emails, and even from social network comments. So these records need to be
“discoverable” and presentable to regulators and lawyers. And as the argument moves on from “how do we keep
stuff?” to “how can we defensibly get rid of stuff?”, we need to examine what shape enterprise records
management takes and, in the big data age, how do we keep a lid on the escalating costs of content storage?
In this survey, we look at the risk profile around electronic records, the keep-all versus delete-all options, the
international view of e-discovery, and the implications of social, mobile and cloud on RM policies. We also look at
the development of enterprise-wide governance policies, and how they translate into system strategies.
Key Findings
Progress toward the “Paperless Office” is slow. For 42% of organizations,
the volume of paper records is
still increasing.
Effective information governance is crippled by poor training.
Only 16% regularly train all staff. 31% do no
training at all.
Senior management is ignoring the risks.
31% of respondents report that poor electronic records-keeping is
causing problems with regulators and auditors. 14% are incurring fines or bad publicity.
The answer to the data problem is to let the computer do the filing.
14% are already doing auto-
classification of electronic records, 37% are keen to do it.
Despite good intentions, the delete button isn’t being pressed.
Electronic records aren’t being deleted even
when retention periods are set.
IT is losing its ability to transform business.
For a third of organizations, 90% of IT spend adds no new value.
Something has to be done about content accumulation.
For 29% the response to the information deluge is
“buy more discs”.
Emails are acknowledged as records, but the filing systems are chaotic.
73% include email in their
retention policies, but most rely on manual methods to file them.
Social content management is not even on the radar.
Less than 15% of organizations are even trying to
include social postings in their retention schedules.
Cloud is not in everyone’s future.
46% of organizations would “definitely not” or “probably not” consider
using cloud for managing electronic records. 23% would consider using their existing paper records outsourcer
for cloud services.
The content may be electronic but the e-discovery mechanisms are still manual.
53% are still reliant on
manual processes for e-discovery searches across file shares, email and physical records.
45% of organizations plan to increase their records management spend over the next two years.
In particular, automated classification is set for strong growth, along with enterprise search, RM modules,