Roadmap to a Better Reality: Speed Up the Transition to an Electronic Environment – AIIM 2016

By: In: Information Management On: Apr 20, 2016

“It’s 2016 and we are truly in the “digital” age. Between smart phones, smart watches, tablets and lap tops, 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

Include IT along with:



Supply Chain/Purchasing


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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About the author

Kris Akens

Kris Akens is a Senior Business Development Executive of Imaging and Business Process Management at Iron Mountain. In his current role, he partners with clients to evaluate current back-office processes, create a road-map to reach their desired future state, and develop a comprehensive document management strategy that helps them focus on their core competencies. Akens is an expert in “right-shoring” business processes, and is an active member of the Association of Financial Professionals and the Institute of Finance and Management.