I’m on my way back from Vancouver, a beautiful Canadian city that combines the oceanfront from one side, mountains from the other side, and a truly cosmopolitan community everywhere you go. I attended the 2018 ARMA conference in response to an invite from our partner Panasonic, a pioneer in document imaging. I decided to write this blog to share my thoughts on the future of records management and how your business can stay ahead of the game by digitizing physical records, capture some of the conference’s unique moments and takeaways and reconnect with the great and fun attendees I met at ARMA and in Vancouver.
Who am I? My name is Ahmed Hanane and I’m the founder and CEO of Dokumentive, a software company that provides organizations with digitization solutions that automate manual tasks and streamline the process of scanning, capturing, storing, and managing files and documents, which enables businesses to save time, cost and space.
Digitizing records isn’t just nice-to-have—it’s a business-critical initiative
Let me start with the first keynote speaker, Shawn Kanungo, an Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 and a digital strategist. Kanungo spoke about digital disruption and the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology, referencing the Google virtual phone system and Amazon’s anticipated delivery model in the process.
Let’s use Andrea the Records Manager as an example. Andrea manages the records of the organization in accordance with approved policies, procedures, and schedules. She is called upon to leverage technology to mitigate the increasing challenges of limited space, increasing requirements for faster turnaround, and opportunities linked to the role of digitization.
One of the first takeaways from the conference is that digitizing records isn’t just nice-to-have information governance, it has become a business-critical initiative.
Andrea is a fun-loving individual who cares about her role and values the importance of records and information in her organization. She enjoyed the conference, the sponsors’ hall, the trivia game, and of course, ARMA’s closing party. The post-conference takeaways suggest some ideas and sequential questions to assist a Records Manager like Andrea in her role and help her capture the lessons accordingly.
The road to digitization is space-efficient
Storage space is becoming very costly and organizations are looking for ways to reduce their operational costs. Digitizing records is the first mandatory step in this endeavor. So, for our records manager, the road to digitization is not straightforward. Where to start? What records to digitize first? Is it better to be outsourced or internally-based? What’s the cost of each option? What is the estimated return on investment (ROI) for the organization?
Before embarking on the digitization journey, I would highly recommend a feasibility study in order to fully uncover all the aspects of digitization. This includes the types of records to be digitized, the number of records, the space required, the time required to search documents and manage records, and an evaluation of the possible solutions (outsourcing vs. internal). The feasibility study will also pave the way and determine a road map for digitization.
Leverage technology where it can best add value
The management of records can be streamlined when technology is leveraged and particularly when Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is adopted. However, ECM is often costly and difficult to use, and the majority of ECM solutions require a lot of preparation because they lack advanced Smart Data Capture modules.
Before implementing an ECM solution, it’s key for Andrea and her organization to map out the process and assess when the technology can add the best value. Technology is evolving rapidly with the massive use of AI and blockchain technologies. And so, remember to inquire about solutions and ask for trials to ensure that your needs are met and that the solution offers options for easy adaptability in the future.
Look for solutions that offer life cycle management functionalities
Part of Andrea’s role is to define document retention periods. What records should she retire? How can she manage the life cycle of records? How can Andrea make the records management procedures available to everyone?
First, take it step-by-step. Second, look for solutions that offer life cycle management functionalities. It’s critical that the chosen solution allows for instant changes to workflows, policies, and procedures. Automated notifications increase efficiency and save time by informing all the involved parties of any updates or changes at one time.
Have fun with what you do!
Throughout my time at ARMA, I met dedicated records managers, speakers, consultants, and sponsors, each of whom was an expert in their field, yet they took the time to engage in meaningful conversations and express interest to stay in touch.
Adopting new technology has helped us accomplish our tasks much more efficiently. However, as we continue to rely on these tools and devices, don’t forget to take a moment to connect with others and enjoy the process along the way.
Whether you’re looking to extract data, scan files, automatically classify documents, or electronically manage your records and content, Dokumentive can equip your organization with the best platform, tools, and practices required to spearhead your business’ growth and success.
Turn your receipts, invoices, and statements into meaningful information and benefit from automated data extraction with Dokumentive. Sign up today for a free demo.