What is Electronic Records Management?
ISO standard 15489: 2001 defines Records Management (RM) as the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records. AIIM expands this definition to include records of all types including those maintained in electronic format.
Learn how to take control of your electronic records in AIIM's Electronic Records Management Training Program.
Currently, most information is created digitally, by some sort of computer or system application and stored on personal computers, network drives and PDAs, reaching terabyte storage levels and beyond. It is vital that organizations understand that information and records are assets of the organization, not the individual and as such need to be managed actively and properly. The incorporation of Electronic Records Management Systems (ERMS) and practices provide structure, consistency, security, and control over these records.
Electronic records management approaches are neither new nor unique. For decades, we have had centralized control of human resources (HR) and capital (Finance). Records management is the centralized control of the information assets of organizations. Establishment and enforcement of enterprise-wide records management explains the requirements, responsibilities, and accountability in managing an organization's information assets. The need for accountability and policy enforcement is becoming clear to executives and managers and, as more information is generated in electronic form, opening the risk of non-compliance and information loss. An enterprise-wide classification scheme within an ERMS, allows us to establish and manage:
- Retention and disposition rules
- Security and access controls
- Digital rights management
- Information sharing
There is the absolute requirement for a central function of RM professionals and staff to carry out the many critical activities and responsibilities needed by the organization. RM is often expected to conduct legal research on the many statutes and regulations impacting records practices. RM professionals must team with legal staff and IT to ensure that information and records are properly managed and readily available in the event of litigation, request for records under Freedom of Information laws (FOIA), audits, and government investigation.
AIIM has developed a comprehensive training program to help you focus and get control of the information and records in your organization. Visit www.aiim.org/training.