Document Retention; How Well Are You Doing It?

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Document storage is something every business of every size does to some extent. But not every business does it properly. In many cases, documents are haphazardly stored on company premises without applying systems that allow for quick identification and access to a specific document when required. The same documents are frequently held in insecure surroundings, with confidential information at risk of being seen by those unauthorised to do so, or in danger of being removed from the premises entirely. Keeping documents without a system in place also compromises a company’s ability to retain certain documents for a legally specified amount of time that meets compliance obligations.

The establishment of a structured document retention policy could make all the difference to business operations and efficiencies, as well as information security and that ever-present need to stay compliant.
Any good document management policy should include secure document storage and archiving, as offered by this specialist in information management. This New Zealand based company works with 15,000 organisations across Australia and New Zealand, and many of them take advantage of this third-party, off-site service.

As mentioned, compliance is just one of the reasons they do so. All companies are required to retain certain business documents for specified periods to meet legal or internal process requirements. Failure to comply with these regulations could lead to harsh penalties. Third-party document storage specialists will not only provide a secure off-site location for these documents but will also work in partnership with you to improve your document management and access processes.

Off-site storage in a secure facility allows you to control access to sensitive documents. By removing these documents from your premises, you take away the ability for unauthorised people to see what they shouldn’t, as well as eliminating the risk of theft or employee sabotage. Purpose-built storage facilities also provide advanced fire protection and climate management, which is vitally important given that fire and water damage are two of the leading causes of document loss.

Our information management specialists not only recommend the use of third-party document storage services. They urge you to see the bigger picture of document retention. That includes cloud-based storage and backups as another layer of protection within your information management programme. After all, when a document needs to be accessed instantly, cloud storage gives you that ability. Additionally, when the end of a retention period is reached, the disposal of a cloud-based document is far faster and more affordable than that of physical documentation.

Without a dedicated document retention policy, your business is adversely affected in several ways: the risk of non-compliance, compromised data security and protection, disaster risks, reduced efficiency and the sheer inability to lay your hands on what you need, when you need it. In this day and age, with the assistance of information management experts, it’s a simple exercise to implement such a policy, and just as easy to reap the rewards for doing so.

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