75% of South African businesses outsourced their records and information management services in 2015, a 47% increase when compared to 2014. This is according the 2015 Metrofile Records and Information Management Trends Index, which was conducted among over 200 management executives from local businesses operating mainly in the financial services, business services, industrial and information and communication technology sectors, among others.

With the enactment of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) act expected to take place this year, an increasing number of organisations are outsourcing their records and information management (RIM) processes to better ensure POPI compliance.

A Reputable RIM partner can not only ensure POPI compliance, but often saves the business a great deal of time as well. By consolidating and unifying both physical and electronic records and providing access to critical records in a timely and reliable manner, a good RIM partner enables consistency across workflows, locations and departments to speed up the business processes.

Benefits of outsourcing RIM includes the implementation and management of customised record retention schedules. The RIM lifecycle involves a number of different activities, from the time a record is created until it is finally archived or destroyed. Keeping track of this timeline is quite complicated and time consuming, especially for employees that have other core functions to focus on.

It is important to remember that records document important business events and can include contracts, budgets, purchase orders, memos, e-mails, instant messaging logs, web site content, customer service records, images, videos and marketing material. These elements must all be stored in either a paper or electronic format to ensure that the organisation can access the information quickly and effortlessly if needs be.

The ISO 15489: 2001 standard, stipulates that records management activities must include the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposal of records. That includes the processes of capturing and maintaining evidence of information about business activities and transactions in the form of records.

Effective management of records throughout their lifecycle is essential for critically important areas in a business, including enterprise information management, business intelligence, business analytics, regulatory compliance and disaster recovery. By partnering with a reputable RIM service provider, an organisation can spend less time worrying about the efficiency and effectiveness of the RIM system and focus on enhancing overall business functioning.