Remote Work and Its Lasting Impact on Information and Records Capture

Remote Work and Its Lasting Impact on Information and Records Capture

The impact of COVID has left many organisations working from home for the foreseeable future. Getting users to be records-compliant is difficult enough at the best of times, but working remotely adds even more challenges with maintaining daily records of transactions including new documents, file notes, records of phone conversations and phone meetings.

Many remote workers are being asked to use their own devices without access to corporate network, software or to their EDRMS. Transferring work files has become an issue, and many are returning to sharing files with colleagues through email, Dropbox and even physical USB drives.

Government agencies, and businesses alike are grappling with the records management challenges of the remote work era and for them, capturing email records is critical. This can be a challenge when system integrations in the workplace are not always possible on home devices and there is no email capture client software available.

The record-keeping obligation isn’t going away. Now, while there may be a technology dream that records will be automatically captured without anybody having to do anything, this isn’t coming to fruition any time soon.

The problem for many organisations is that record-keeping outside of the records area is not high on the priority list and people generally name their documents with ill-conceived names and file them where they can’t be found.

At EzeScan we have not attempted to create a silver bullet, rather we have developed technology that aligns with people and their business processes.  We like to refer to it as business process digitisation, where records are captured as a function of the business process and not as a function of compliance.

We believe the people working directly with documents are in the best position to identify the value of the information to the business. If we can take away the stress about worrying over what to call or where to save the captured information, this will not only simplify their lives considerably but ensure the desired business outcomes are achieved.

This is not the same as using AI to determine the value of information. AI makes sense where you’ve got millions of legacy documents, low value information assets in places where no human is ever going to be able to review them all

When considering high value information assets in a real-time business process workflow, there are few information managers that would delegate the overall handling of the information to AI.  The risk of records not being classified or registered in the right place is secondary to information not being appropriately actioned.

Many EzeScan customers have been adapting to the remote work era by firstly looking at their digital mailroom and specifically addressing:

  • Non-compliant digitisation
  • No audit trail
  • Forgotten or lost email
  • Delays in decision making and actioning
  • No visibility to the rest of the business
  • Reliant on user to classify, action, share or file
  • Difficult to initiate workflow
  • Filing/EDRMS, wrong name wrong location
  • Compromised customer service
  • Lack of governance and regulatory compliance
  • Increased risk to the organisation
  • Correspondence and incoming documents are scanned and distributed to remote users via a Web application.

Users can review their documents on any device, sitting at the computer, on the couch with a tablet or on the go with their smartphone (or at a park bench!). In the background, we ensure that their mail is named correctly in the correct taxonomy and filed where it needs to be. Most importantly, EzeScan initiates the correct business workflow that’s required for that information.

Wherever they are, by actioning that digital mail as part of the business process, EzeScan will automatically name it and file in the EDRMS.

Our customers are taking a number of different approaches to managing information for remote workers. Some are simply asking users to place files in a windows directory on the work server after which EzeScan polls the file/metadata and uploads them into the Document Management System.

Many are relying on a workflow that employs remote workers to index, validate and authorise documents after they have been digitised to the EzeScan remote indexing WebApp. After this workflow is completed, EzeScan than automatically uploads the documents into the back-end EDRMS.

Others are using EzeScan’s remote indexing assistant WebApp to automatically index and upload their own documents, images, emails, etc, generated during the course of their working day.  EzeScan then applies the corporate records business rules to give uniformity to documents and upload them to the EDRMS.

Others are using EzeScan’s file upload assistant WebApp to provide bulk file transfer directly to the EDRMS.

Information capture can be difficult enough for staff under normal conditions, but working remotely has made it even more so.

Our solutions help people focus on their work and allow them to action and register their information seamlessly, regardless of where they are working.

Demos Gougoulas (ARIM) is Director of Sales & Marketing at EzeScan.

Reprinted from IDM magazine.

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