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Sustaining the Archive - Modern Records Management

Benefits of Records Management

Laying telephone cables. Image courtesy of BT Heritage.

Laying telephone cables. Image courtesy of BT Heritage.

Records management processes are embedded in an increasing number of companies as a means to manage risk and cost. Records managers, who are often dually qualified as archivists, are able to set up and implement records management programmes at relatively low cost to the organisation but with great strategic benefits:

  1. improved compliance with statutory and regulatory records requirements
  2. improved access to records in response to external audit and regulatory enquiries / legal discovery issues
  3. improved access to company information and intellectual property
  4. reduction in retention of duplicate and ephemeral records
  5. better management information for strategic decision-making
  6. improved cost-efficiency in records storage/ office accommodation
  7. improved cost-efficiency in electronic records storage and retrieval
  8. improved business continuity planning by identifiying and managing critical records
  9. reduced risk that critical records are mis-managed or misplaced
  10. records of archival value are identified at source and captured by the records management process

While some of these individual benefits can be achieved by good departmental controls, there is an over-riding advantage of a company-wide process that raises standards across all teams and departments and can identify issues and solutions around inter-disciplinary and project team activity. A company-wide approach supports electronic records in particular, where policies for file storage, database management and email retention benefit from records management as well as IT expertise. For more information about records management principles and practice visit the websites of The National Archives, the Records Management Society or ARMA International (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) at:

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