Information Management Essentials

Business organisations can maximise the use of their data and documents thanks to information management solutions. Utilizing contemporary digital technology, information management streamlines document collecting, storage, and access, ensuring stakeholders have access to the information they require at the appropriate time. However, putting in place a thorough information management system can be challenging, particularly when regulatory compliance is at stake. 

Information management is defined as 

Information management refers to the guidelines, processes, and resources a company employs to manage the information lifecycle. 

Collection is where the information lifecycle starts. In addition to the documents and data they produce internally, businesses also ingest information from other sources. That data needs to be organised, categorised, and saved. It must be available to people who require it, but not to unauthorised ones, in order for it to be beneficial. Information may be archived if it is not pertinent to currently running operations. Finally, it should be destroyed if it is no longer needed or if there are legal restrictions on keeping it. 

Businesses can expedite this process—from record ingestion to record access to record destruction—with the use of information management solutions. Information management, however, involves more than just technology. Information management rules, procedures, and other stakeholders—including employees and other stakeholders—all play a crucial role. 

In addition to outlining the questions you should address as you build and implement an efficient information management system, our information management checklist will assist you in addressing each of these worries. 

Planning for information management: Evaluations and Goals 

The first step in creating a successful information management system is planning. Your company should identify and comprehend how documents and data help you achieve your goals throughout the planning stage. 

What are the operational aims of the company for information management? 

Planning for information management should be based on a company’s main commercial goals. Maximizing the value of information to your business operations is the ultimate goal. That could then help achieve the following objectives: 

  • Encouraging higher sales and revenue 
  • Enhancing client interactions 
  • Streamlining operations that depend on data 
  • Improving and making it easier to comply with regulations 
  • Further goals for the company and its operations 

Which data should information management software collect? 

Once you’ve established your goals, you can evaluate the range of data at your disposal and rank the records that are most pertinent. For instance, you might decide to concentrate on high-value data that yields a substantial return on investment and forego entering low-value data into your information management system. 

What kinds of private information will be stored, and how will it be recognised? 

Numerous companies handle data with different levels of sensitivity. The most sensitive data, such as medical records or confidential client information, must be identified. It may be tempting to collect as much data as you can in the hopes that it may be useful in the future, but doing so without first determining how sensitive or reliable the data is might lead to liabilities. 

What administrative and legal matters affect information management? 

Although this question is connected to the one before it, it is crucial to underline the value of comprehending the legal and regulatory ramifications. Different privacy, storage, retention, and deletion policies are governed by different regulatory frameworks in the financial, legal, healthcare, government, and other sectors. 

Do we have efficient change management practices in place? 

You may need to be prepared to manage process changes that information management frequently causes. For instance, your information management plan can mandate that stakeholders use a alternative interface to obtain information or avoid using outdated processing technologies. To get the most out of an information management system, it’s essential to manage these changes. 

Ingestion, storage, and disposal of data 

A firm may rely on information from many sources in various formats, including paper documents, PDFs, audio and transcripts, video, and more. The ideal information management system will be able to gather and arrange all of this data while assisting you in making sure it is accurate and of high enough quality to support your business goals. 

How will digital data be recorded? 

Digital records can be easily entered into information management systems, but what about physical records? Document scanning and conversion are common steps in a process, however scanning documents right away isn’t always necessary. Scan-on-demand services scan and send a digital document only when it is needed, while securely storing physical documents at a remote location. 

How will physical records be handled during the digitalisation process in terms of storage or disposal? 

You have the option to archive physical documents in accordance with your company’s data retention standards, keep them in a remote facility with scan-on-demand, or destroy them after they have been scanned. 

How can we be confident that data is stored and discarded in compliance with legal requirements? 

Data retention regulations are required by many regulatory regimes, especially for personally identifiable information. Your vendor of information management software needs to be able to put in place a flexible data retention plan that meets your requirements for regulatory compliance. 

Information Governance 

Knowing what data you have, where it is kept, and which legal frameworks apply will help you with information governance. 

Has a risk analysis of information management been conducted? 

Data identification, its level of sensitivity, and potential risks from wrong treatment are the main topics of risk assessment. An information management risk assessment will consider the data itself and the procedures, documentation, and policies your company has in place to reduce the risk of regulatory, security, and privacy violations. 

Have we developed and outlined information management procedures? 

Information management rules establish a framework that gives business stakeholders and leaders control over information management practices across the whole organisation. To promote training and adherence to best practices, policies and procedures must be documented. 

Do records have the right security and privacy measures in place? 

Businesses should confirm that data is stored in accordance with the organization’s privacy and security policies and any regulatory standards before forming a partnership with an information management provider. Your chosen provider for information management should be happy to describe how their solution aids in your compliance with legal requirements. 

Does the information management software work with the tools we already have? 

Businesses should be able to search and retrieve their papers using a portal offered by an information management provider. A document management system is, however, already in use by many businesses. Make sure your vendor’s remote information management system incorporates your prefered software if you want to keep utilising that solution.