Records management is a complex process, often involving many different types of content and requiring careful management of both structured and unstructured formats. From identifying what does and doesn’t need to be a record to applying the correct retention policy, effective records management processes require a higher-than-ever level of organization.  

Organizations inevitably store information across multiple repositories —from email to enterprise content management (ECM) to CRM systems. This information is increasingly challenging to manage and control due to the growing amounts of data created and stored daily. As a result, organizations are now facing complexities with traditional records management, including the rise of information silos. Luckily, there is a solution that can help take the pain out of records management processes when working with multiple systems and applications, ultimately eliminating information silos: federated records management. 

This blog details the many challenges modern organizations face with traditional records management and explains how adopting a federated records management solution can help ensure effective, error-proof records management. 

Challenges with Modern Records Management 

No Global View of Content 

Information silos present a significant challenge for traditional records management processes, creating barriers and consuming valuable time when locating documents and content to declare as records. Without a single, centralized view over content and records, users lose time manually searching through systems to find and declare records for legal purposes. In addition, traditional, manual methods are not only error-prone; they leave information at risk for non-compliance and can delay or impede eDiscovery processes. 

Multiple Systems are the Modern-Day Default 

According to an AIIM study, 52% of organizations have three or more Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Document Management (DM), or Records Management (RM) systems, and 22% have five or more. These numbers are only increasing as employees tend to fall back on the applications they feel most comfortable using and as new systems and technologies emerge to provide further benefits for specific business processes. This creates challenges when identifying, maintaining, and organizing records, including duplicate content or content spawl across silos.  
 


 

Need for Secure, Shared Access to Content 

Having information stored across multiple systems isn’t efficient. According to a McKinsey report, the average worker spends over two hours a day trying to find the appropriate document, and it may even be more depending on how many information systems an organization has.

Navigating these inconsistencies across systems can be time-consuming and can lead to security breaches or compliance oversights. Each system and piece of content can require different user permissions and controls, which are a nightmare to govern and prevent the right users from accessing content as and when they need it. Not to mention, each system must adhere to evolving compliance laws like GDPR and CCPA.  

The Solution: Federated Records Management 

Companies will inevitably continue to operate process-specific systems alongside ECM and CRM systems. Federation provides a solution that allows users to consolidate all their information by providing a centralized platform to search, locate, and manage content within any information system. 

Records management is a balancing act, and federation helps achieve equilibrium. Federated records management provides a centralized view of all enterprise information and records. It offers a platform for all documents and information to appear in a single place rather than having users jump across different systems. Not only does it enable a single view of information, but federation also gives users the ability to establish, execute, and enforce common record retention policies, removing the need to manually apply duplicate retention schedules in each individual system. 

With federation, everything becomes consistent, uniform, and organized. Federated records management helps overcome the challenges of information silos by offering core benefits, including advanced search capabilities, streamlined records declaration and retention policies, and simplified legal holds for record preservation—all within a secure, easy to manage interface.  

Advanced Search Capabilities 

Managing records in place from a central interface allows for quick, easy, and advanced search. Rather than spending hours sifting through silos to identify records for eDiscovery processes, federated search capabilities help locate records within seconds across multiple repositories. Any record can be searched by name, date, content type, file type, native repository, hold status, or even by security mark. Rather than searching for overly specific keywords or file types, using a federated system guarantees that searching for a record is simple and painless. 

Streamlined Records Declaration and Retention Policies 

Different systems have different functional capabilities, which means users must master multiple systems and keep track of all activities when manually managing records. Federation allows records to be declared and managed in one place for the entirety of the records lifecycle. Govern in place lets users access and manage siloed data from its current, true location via a central interface, helping organizations quickly identify documents to declare as records, perform the declaration, and easily manage retention schedules. 

Secure and Easy to Manage Interface. 

Even the most advanced technology will have low user adherence if it is not user-friendly. Federation provides an effortless way to manage all records, update holds, record audits, implement security marks, and much more. There’s always the option to perform bulk or singular actions, and the user-friendly interface allows users to effectively process records without impacting business.  

Security marks can easily be applied to protect personal identifiable information (PII), IP addresses, and other relevant information, and advanced, granular user permissions ensure that user access governance is a straightforward and painless process. 

In Summary 

Organizations face enough challenges when managing ECM content and records —information silos shouldn’t be one of them. Federation alleviates the frustrating, manual task of dealing with information silos and ultimately improves the efficiency of both records management processes and business processes in general. 

Simflofy’s federated records management solution removes the pitfalls and inaccuracies associated with operating multiple business systems and resolves connectivity issues, all while maintaining secure, compliant, and efficient records management.  

 

If you’d like to learn how your organization can calm the chaos of information silos and optimize records management processes, check our associated webinar How Federation Can Stop Information Silos from Killing Records Management for a detailed demonstration. 

 

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