Don t Forget the Paper

Paper is out of control at many enterprises today. Paper is mismanaged, misfiled, and often absent from enterprise content management strategies that emphasize electronic records. And there?s definitely too much paper considering the glut of paper records under the auspices of many firms.

?Companies could legally eliminate one quarter to one half of all their records, but they don?t have records management systems to do that, so they do the next best thing which is to save everything,? says Ken Rubin, senior vice president at Iron Mountain, a records management company. ?Most companies are only starting to lay the building blocks to have a consistent policy framework and systems to implement records retention across all systems with a single policy.? One rub is knowing what to keep, archive, or destroy. When it comes to paper, microfilm, and other physical records, the picture can muddy when it comes to converting these records to digital formats. ?Legally, there?s a number of states and foreign government agencies that aren?t yet recognizing a scanned image of a document as an original,? says Mark Moerdler, president of MDY, a records management RM- solutions provider. Issues abound with scanned records, which may be modified easily, so in many cases, paper backup still required. Matthew Bowman, director of marketing and sales at Sire Technologies, a document management solutions provider, says that in the public safety and judicial markets it serves, converting to digital formats and shredding paper documents often isn?t an option by law. ?But the whole legal environment is starting to recognize that online or scanned documents are just as recognizable as paper records,? Bowman says. Bowman points out recent improvements to scanning technologies that improve image quality as well as the integration of electronic documents into thirdparty systems and legacy mainframes are helping ease the paper burden. Other solutions such as archive writers that scan and simultaneously create a microfilm record are helping enterprises convert to digital with the appropriate paper-based backup. Technologies such as barcoding, to create searchable online records of file-box contents, and RFID radio frequency identification-, to swiftly locate boxes in the warehouse, make itemizing, archiving, and locating records easier than ever before, notes Kris Painter, vice president of operations at Sire Technologies. ?People want to get more automated to utilize these technologies and automate their records processes,? he says. Source and full article: www.edocmagazine.coma>