Most industries have swapped to digital records. They have done so in the hopes of preserving data for future generations, including legal and scientific documents. Especially now that cloud storage makes collaborative work easier, electronic records are the natural choice.
Managing electronic records is a new skill for many seasoned office employees. But it is an essential one that maintains, organizes, and preserves records of all types. Here are six tips for small businesses to manage electronic records.
1. Develop a Record Management Strategy
Like with all work in your business, approach managing electronic records with a strategy. Consult information technology as well as library and information services professionals. They can help you outline a strategy unique to your company’s storage needs.
Electronic records may be stored on a hard-wired network, accessible through a VPN, or saved to a cloud. Map any storage options with folder systems to organize uploaded files in a logical way.
2. Decide on Names for Files
Naming conventions for your digital files are an important part of your record management strategy. If multiple team members have upload access to your digital storage, it is essential you all understand the rules of naming conventions.
Use words separated by spaces or underscores (_) to make titles more searchable. Include dates for time-specific documents. Order the title information in a way that is easy to sort such as LastName_FirstName_ID#_Date.
3. Opt for Cloud Storage
The benefits of the cloud are hard to understate for companies where multiple staff members require remote access to electronic records. The cloud makes it possible for employees to collaborate—sometimes even in the same document at the same time.
Well-organized, cloud-based electronic records mean instant access to documents by anyone with permission from anywhere. This ensures there’s never a file version mix-up via e-mail or a wait for delivery of hard copies.
4. Upload Accessible Documents
Your electronic records should be easily accessed by all team members from approved locations. Choosing the correct file formats to upload is part of ensuring this accessibility.
You may choose to upload raw data in .CSV spreadsheets or use a.NET pdf creator to make easy C# files. Files that can be accessed across operating systems and devices without losing formatting are a good option for electronics records.
5. Ensure Against Erroneous Deletions
When you have cloud storage that is accessible by multiple employees, make sure you have a strategy for preventing erroneous deletions. Cloud systems may permit you to assign one member of your document management team the ability to delete documents.
Instead of permitting all members deleting permissions, they will submit requests to the approved team member.
6. Prevent Common Cyber Security Threats
One downside of electronics record storage—particularly in the cloud—is vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. If your small business does not have an IT team, consult with outsourced IT providers with information systems security professional certification to secure your records.
Managing Electronics Records Is Possible for Small Businesses
Don’t get scared off by the large task of managing electronic records. When you approach it with a strategy, an educated team, and the proper security plans, electronic record-keeping is a benefit to your small business.
Learn more about business strategy in our other IT and business articles.