Document management is essential in all sectors. Electronic handling and archiving of documents improves efficiency in the performance and management of the operations in government sector. Many local and smaller government agencies still rely on manual approaches to handling, updating and sharing records, leading to inefficiency, high labor costs, data vulnerabilities and public frustration. A document scanning company can help to alleviate several public-sector challenges to a great extent. Poor data management can allow inappropriate access to records containing sensitive, confidential or private information, and result in reduced ability to track progress against objectives.
The Public Records Act 2005 is enabling the Government to be held accountable through creating and maintaining full and accurate records of its affairs, and enhancing public confidence in the integrity of public records. An Archives New Zealand report notes that barely half of the public offices audited in 2014/15 have record keeping maturity at or above the level of a managed approach to records management. This audit covered 33 public organizations including tertiary education providers, state-owned enterprises, and government departments.
With advanced solutions available, slow, paper-based processes that used to take weeks are now transformed into fast, accurate, automated processes that take minutes or even seconds. Paper documents can be scanned and stored along with electronic documents, images, email, and other types of content in a single, searchable repository. With legal document scanning, even highly confidential legal data can be stored securely in any required file format online. Cloud computing can provide public offices with remote access to information and business systems.
A systematic approach to creating and maintaining records enables public sector organizations to achieve benefits such as –
- Promote greater transparency and minimize costs and response times
- Serve constituents with speed and quality
- Identify delays and eliminate bottlenecks
- Identify and protect records containing sensitive, confidential or private information
- Preserve records as long as required and then dispose of them appropriately
- Control costs associated with finding, accessing and preserving records
- Reduce changes of corruption with manual document-handling processes
With public sector organizations moving to digital workflows, data breaches will be another matter of concern. While making use of these advanced solutions, it is also critical for any organization to protect their documents from data breaches. Poor data security leaves the door wide open for intruders to misuse confidential data.
What can be done to avoid data breaches?
- Use cloud storage
- Limit access to important files
- Educate employees on how to secure sensitive data
- Stay current with security software updates
- Conduct regular audits
- Store sensitive data in separate locations
For those organizations considering outsourcing their data management tasks, make sure to choose a document scanning company that delivers strict document security and information assurance. Public sector organizations must update their existing document management policies and tools to effectively balance security and productivity.