As an organisation matures, the amount of information it collects and stores grows significantly larger. Much of it may be stored at different locations and in different formats, so there comes a time in most medium to large sized organisations when an EDRMS is needed to integrate everything together and allow for better management of information.
What is an EDRMS?
EDRMS stands for Electronic Document and Records Management System. An EDRMS is an automated software application that allows for the creation, management, and storage of physical as well as digital documents and records in an integrated way. It combines both document and records management functionality, with document functionality allowing for access and use of documents for short term needs, and records functionality allowing for the protection and management of records for long term information needs. It also enables companies in certain industries to meet compliance requirements.
Why create an EDRMS?
A successful EDRMS has many benefits for an organisation. It can:
- facilitate the move from paper to digital
- be integrated with other business systems, such as email and existing databases
- reduce the costs of data creation and storage
- improve efficiency and productivity
- provide simultaneous access to information by multiple users in different locations
- streamline and automate business processes
- make information faster and easier to find
- reduce duplication of information
- make sensitive information more secure by restricting access to authorised eyes only
- provide audit trails for compliance requirements
- improve disaster recovery through regular backups
- allow for government requests and discovery orders to be addressed in a more timely manner
Tips for successful EDRMS creation
Creating an EDRMS is a big project, requiring a project manager and team of experts to make it all happen. These experts can either be sourced from within an organisation, or brought in from outside as consultants. Whichever option is chosen, the project must be approached and handled in a highly methodical and systematic way if it is to be successful.
Goals must be defined, and not just general ones but also specific, measurable, and achievable goals that can be used as milestones to measure progress. Risks must also be identified, and actions put in place to reduce their likelihood or consequences.
The project team must contain the right mix of skills, including technical, management, administration, presentation, interpersonal, and communication skills. That’s because there will be a lot of negotiation involved within the organisation during the project’s lifetime, and user education and training will also be required after installation.
Potential problems that can confront an EDRMS project manager and team include:
- Lack of commitment or support from management
- Lack of resources due to a change in organisational priorities or a budget blowout
- Poor technical infrastructure or insufficient staff allocated to the project
- Underestimated time needed to complete the project
- Insufficient skill set within the project team
How to guarantee success
Successful EDRMS creation can be touch-and-go at best if any of these factors is overlooked, but there are ways to guarantee a successful EDRMS creation project. The best starting point is to choose a quality software solution, such as SharePoint, and have it configured to your organisation’s particular needs by a team of EDRMS specialists.
SharePoint is a highly popular option because it makes document and records management easy for everyone, with a familiar and user-friendly interface and simple, “behind-the-scenes” administration.
At Kiandra IT, SharePoint is our recommended choice for organisations looking to improve their rich document and records management capabilities. With our experience with SharePoint, we can help integrate the software with an organisation’s current systems, allowing them to get more value from their existing assets. With SharePoint solutions, you can manage versions, apply retention schedules, declare records, and place legal holds, whether it’s traditional, web or social content, making it easy for an organisation to maintain compliance.