December 14, 2016

3 Things to Consider with SharePoint Records Management in 2017

3 minute read

When talking about SharePoint records management and implementing an overall information governance program, there are many factors to consider. As we look ahead to 2017, ensuring that all business units are involved and the organization as a whole has an in-depth understanding of the importance of information governance is a crucial first step. Let's discuss three other important considerations.  1. New Styles of Work

Organizations have been slowly moving to the cloud because of the flexibility it offers. SharePoint Online has many advantages to its on-premise counterpoint (in fact, we here at RecordLion use SharePoint Online). People are working in new ways and expect to be able to access files from almost any device. This ubiquity of access can present issues for a records manager if a proper process is not in place.

One key to a seamless SharePoint records management program is to limit the interruption of the users' normal workflow. This can be done by automating policy rules and lifecycles on records. Some outdated platforms are unable to handle this automation while also being flexible enough to handle multiple repositories.

The biggest concern from a workflow standpoint is that if the process in place is too cumbersome, the employees will find a workaround. That often involves using a third-party tool such as Dropbox that is not under the information governance umbrella of the organization. This obviously presents tremendous risk and compliance issues for the organization. Make SharePoint records management easy for your users or they will not buy in.

2. Securing the Cloud

When discussing the cloud, the first conversation from a technical perspective is often cybersecurity. Additionally, it is important that the same information governance policies remain in place in SharePoint Online or Box. Because of its accessibility, data in the cloud must be secured at every point to ensure compliance. 

As we've discussed in the past, compliance violations can be extremely detrimental to a company from both a financial and legal standpoint. The average cost of a breach in 2015 was $3.79 million.

Your SharePoint records management program will benefit from the inclusion of IT, General Counsel as well as the directors of each business unit to craft a proactive plan and ensure all parties are aware of the processes and approvals in place.

3. Balancing Employee and Organizational Needs

As mentioned above, balancing employee and organization needs is a key tenant of a successful SharePoint records management strategy. Certain policies must be set firmly but this is a time to include as many users from different departments as possible to get a true slice of their daily workflow and how any new policies may affect their job.

Getting buy-in from the beginning will yield much better results than simply passing down rules that all must follow without any consultation. SharePoint is an incredible tool but its power must be harnessed correctly to achieve the desired results. The organization's compliance regulations are first and foremost, but must be balanced against usability and functionality.

Focusing on ease of use while addressing the compliance and governance needs will allow you to create the ideal SharePoint records management program.

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