Over the years that you have run your business, you have amassed a lot of information. Word documents, Excel files, and PDFs galore. While it may seem like a good idea to hold onto all that information, you may want to consider crafting and implementing a digital retention policy.
What is that?
A data retention policy, or records retention policy, is an organization’s established protocol for retaining information for operational or regulatory compliance needs. There are some industries that are regulated by government agencies that set rules on how long you are to retain things like customer correspondence, as well as other documents. It is also a policy that helps your employees manage documents from the moment they are created, until they are destroyed.
Why Do I Need One?
All those documents you have been scanning in the copy room do not seem like they take up much space on your server. However, compound that over years, and you may find that you have gigabytes of data stored which could lead to disk space issues. You may find there are documents going back a decade or more. Do you really need that gas station receipt from back in 2002? Having a digital retention policy can help you free up that space on the server, and even save on backup costs. Reminders can be set on an annual basis to “clean out” those folders.
Having that retention policy may also help you if you wind up facing a litigation procedure against your business. If an attorney requests documents for a certain time period, and you do not have them due to a retention policy, you have an explanation as to why you do not have them.. Also, a digital retention policy can have measures in place that should you face litigation, you can preserve all the information necessary.
Follow The Policy
It is important that once you have a digital retention policy, that it be followed by everyone in the organization. As mentioned above, failure to do so could have a negative impact. Communicating clearly with members of your business on what this policy is, and that it is to be followed is paramount. Software exists that will help make sure that this policy is maintained.
All of this can initially seem overwhelming, but that is where a professional can help. We have the tools and the knowledge to help maintain records, and keep your digital storage space efficiently maintained. Call us today, and we can help.