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spacer The Paperless Office - Go Digital! spacer
  The quest for a "paperless office" may turn out to be nothing more than a myth. In my experience, managers prefer to share information with their peers and upline through the medium of paper, and most database administrators have their staff auditing paper print-outs of the database records to insure that the database is collecting and collating information properly.

On the other hand, in the modern office almost all information is originated digitally. It is possible - at least in theory - to achive the goal of a completely paperless office.

We create our business records on the computer. The individual employee will create reports, graphs, email, instant messages and web pages via their computer keyboards.

Business transactions may also be conducted entirely in virtual space. Consumers use dynamic web page templates to research, purchase and return product, while corporations transact business with one another via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

Therefore, business records are saved on web servers and in databases and are backed up onto tape, discs, and other server clusters. Most I.T. departments are adept at using their network tools, but lack any guidence for the efficient management of the information stored in these network tools.

A Records Manager is a vital part of your management team. A Records Manager has the experience to properly manage the information created and stored on desktop computers, web servers, and database servers, as well as paper records, forms and filing systems.

Consider this:

  • A Court of Law may require you to produce as evidence original records and copies, if they exist. The discovery process is expensive, and may include email, calendars, daytimers, notebooks, web pages, paper documents and electronic records. You MUST have a system in place to help you reduce the volume of information created daily.

  • All employees must know and follow the company's Records Management Program. Any destruction of records not governed by the Program, however innocent, could lead to the appearance of wrong-doing, and may even result in charges of obstruction of justice.

  • Are you confident you know who can access your records? Do you have different levels of access? Are your security controls adequate? Are all of your records accounted for - on-site and offsite, physical and electronic?

  • Do you have a training program established? Do you have a way to audit Program compliance?

  • Email is often a liability in litigation. Careless remarks in email have led to expensive court rulings against the plantiff. Are your employees careful when they write email? In addition, do you currently control how the intellectual property of your company leaves the business via email attachments?