Hybrid record management: All you need to know

2018 marks 40 years since British-American information scientist Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster famously envisioned a “paperless society” in 1978.

While the notion of a “paperless office” has been bandied about in business circles for most of the last decade, in 2018 a 100 per cent paperless office simply remains unachievable for many Australian businesses in certain industries.

Relinquishing paper and embracing digital alternatives enables businesses to streamline processes, reduce their impact on the environment, and cut costs. Generally speaking, Australian businesses are becoming less reliant on physical records in favour of digital formats.

The hybrid record management alternative

While it doesn’t garner as much fanfare as the all-or-nothing alternative, there is a third option businesses are increasingly adopting in records management – “hybrid record management”.

Also known as a “paper-light approach” to records management, the hybrid record management model is realistically more achievable in the short-term for most businesses.

The hybrid model enables businesses to progressively transition records into digital format, while retaining physical records as needed. It also allows businesses to reduce some costs immediately by embracing the efficiencies of digital records management.

Making the transition to hybrid records management

Here are three steps you can consider to get the ball rolling on hybrid record management in your business.

A company-wide paper audit: Perform a company-wide audit of all paper records. Itemise the records that need to be maintained in a physical form as well as the records that can immediately be moved into digital form. Also, flag a timeline for when physical records may be able to be moved into digital only records in the future.

Educate and equip your team: Moving to a new records management system requires buy-in from all staff members. To get that buy-in you need to educate your team on why the changes are being made, and equip them so they are ready to leverage the new system once it’s in place.

Partner with a records management expert: When an organisation moves in new directions and embraces new strategies, it needs a strong partner with the infrastructure, knowledge and expertise to guide and support it through the transition.

Compu-Stor: Innovators in records management

At Compu-Stor, we have developed a proprietary online document management system to support Australian businesses that are looking to move away from physical records.

Our Complete Information Management System (CIMS) is a cutting-edge online records management platform being utilised by Australian businesses that are embracing hybrid records management.

CIMS links electronic documents directly to the corresponding record information, enabling customers to log on, search for a file, and then instantly download it. This unique ability allows our customers to use one system to manage both their physical and electronic records without having to invest in any new hardware, software or IT personnel.

Compu-Stor has been providing information management solutions to businesses since 1987. If you would like to find out how we can best help you to transition to a hybrid records management solution, contact us on 1300 559 778 or email us at business-support@compu-stor.com.au.