In today’s business environment, electronic records are produced every second. Understanding this basic fact has profound implications on your technology infrastructure, business processes, information security, and record retention policies. It is understood that electronic records produced during the normal course of business explicitly represent “corporate memory” for the organization. Unlike paper records, electronic records are transmitted, copied, transferred, and distributed in ways that are much too cumbersome for their paper-based counterparts. Since these crucial records include evidence of past activities and decision-making, they must be controlled and maintained to ensure their accessibility over time and in a manner that retains their unique integrity and authenticity.
Electronic Content Management (ECM) systems are designed to manage the full active lifecycle of electronic documents. Regardless of platform, these systems include capabilities that include library services (check-in/check-out), document creation, route/review/approval of electronic documents, and content collaboration and transformation services designed to help distribute content and transform documents into various formats such as PDF. While these features are essential, many forward-thinking organizations are moving beyond addressing active lifecycle content issues to ensuring the integrity and authenticity of this information.
How can organizations effectively manage crucial electronic content held within their document/content management systems effectively? There are several best practices which must be considered when dealing with ECM systems.