Roadmap to a Better Reality: Speed Up the Transition to a Digital Office

Craig Grimestad


“It’s 2016 and we are truly in the “digital” age. Between smart phones, smart watches, tablets and laptops, we have finally moved away from physical files and documents.” If only that statement were true. Recent surveys have shown that 31% of offices report that they are still stacked high with paper. 40% use paper to file “important stuff.” 52% have made little to no progress towards electronic business workflows. 80% agree that paper content and processes hinder their ability to work remotely and access business documents. So if we all agree that digital documents are better for our businesses, what is keeping organizations from moving to a truly electronic environment? The answer to that question will vary from company to company (culture, budget, etc.), but we at Iron Mountain believe that there is a process that can be followed which will allow you to make significant steps towards that goal.

Four Steps to the Starting Line

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” By following these four steps you will position your organization to be successful with this transition:

1. Understand your existing environment and costs

  • Map where your records are
  • Know what technology is being used to create and store records today
  • Understand how your different departments access and utilize the information in your records
  • Map your current processes and determine pain-points and areas that can be improved

2. Define your Goals

  • Reduce Paper Storage to make space
  • Improve records visibility, access, security, and privacy
  • Integrate records from a merger/acquisition
  • Change/Improve Business Processes
  • Improve Compliance, E-discovery, and Information Governance Practices

3. Get the Right People Involved

  • IT
  • Compliance
  • Legal
  • Supply Chain/Purchasing
  • Finance
  • Lines of Business Leaders

4. Build a Roadmap for Change

“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time” – Creighton Abrams

  • Identify what, if any, legacy records can be digitized and determine how/where you will store the electronic images
  • Once you’ve determined what you are imaging, develop a plan to store and destroy the remaining physical records
  • Eliminate the creation of paper on the front end of your business processes

Obviously, this is a high-level framework for moving your organization forward and each company has unique requirements, but we are confident that by following these steps you can develop a strategy that will assist you in the transition from a physical to an electronic records environment. If you’re coming to #AIM16, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you in-depth about how Iron Mountain can be your strategic partner as you truly move into the “digital” age. Visit us at Booth #11, April 25th – 28th.


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