Imperative to have effective document management systems

2012-02-21 00:00

MILLIONS of rands worth of property, equipment and documents are thought to have been destroyed during the massive fire that engulfed the three-storey building containing the South African Revenue Services’ Durban headquarters and two international call centres recently.

The event clearly highlights the importance for all businesses to ensure they have effective document management systems to avoid the costs of losing critical company information.

According to Brad Dallas, general manager of Metrofile Records Management Durban (a division of Metrofile Holdings Limited), failure to securely store and back-up critical company data and records could leave a company having to rebuild its database from scratch in the event of a disaster.

“Reconstituting company information and data could take months, or even years, which can have a potentially devastating impact on a business by delaying, hindering or even permanently ceasing productivity.”

He said that should a company have no data storage and recovery plan in place, the potential business repercussions include, among others, financial losses, damage to brand reputation, costly litigation, job losses and total business in-operability.

“Data is unquantifiable and therefore extremely difficult to insure, making it impossible to recover any financial losses.

“Businesses have two options; on-site or off-site records management.

“Companies that need immediate access to documents and records have no choice but to store them on-site, the key lies in implementing an effective back-up solution and storing the documents in a secure environment that can protect the records from damp, fire and water damage as well as insect infestation.

“Essential to this solution is effective fire detection systems.”

Off-site records management has become increasingly popular due to space constraints of storing records on-site as well as the costs involved with implementing the effective security measures needed to securely store records, including fire detection and prevention.

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