Document management strategies to live by—and pitfalls to avoid
Despite the benefits of electronic document management systems, college and university compliance efforts can be undermined by faulty management.
Providers were asked to share their thoughts on what higher ed institutions aren’t paying enough attention to when it comes to compliance and electronic documents/records management. Here’s what they told us:
“I often see departments start scanning paper documents without planning out how the information would be indexed and structured in the repository, ending up with information that’s hard to retrieve. Planning out the template fields and metadata is essential to ensure all the information imported into the repository will be searchable and accessible, so that institutions can be more responsive when facing unexpected audits or e-discovery requests.”
—Linda Ding, education program strategist, Laserfiche
“Many institutions aren’t integrating their systems, such as SIS, HR, or accounting, with their document management solutions. Consequently, they’re dealing with duplicate records and siloed information. Records management then becomes more difficult, if not impossible, because you can’t distinguish which is the ‘official’ record. When the systems are integrated, and documents are stored within the ECM system, everyone has access to the same version of the same document.”
—Ian Llado, account manager, DocFinity/OIT
“The biggest challenge of records management isn’t the technology, it’s the discipline and complexity that institutions face while meeting records retention requirements. Department leaders must know the various records retention requirements for their area, and the legal offices on campus must be involved in the finalization of any policy.”
—Laurel Stiller, higher education industry manager, Hyland Software
“Because paper can pile up so quickly, it’s critical to get it into a digital workflow from the beginning. For example, when onboarding a freshman, ideally the admissions process includes a fast, easy way to capture any paper records, transcripts and other faxed, mailed or emailed documents DIRECTLY into a digital file.”
—John Gonzalez, director of product management and business development, Xerox Corporation
“Now, more than ever, organizations are being held accountable for what appears in their social stream. Institutions must take steps to ensure that all essential data—even unstructured data, such as social media—is properly managed, maintained, archived and protected to sufficiently meet government regulations and to support e-discovery requests.”
—Rory Welch, president/CEO, ArcMail Technology
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