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How to organise an Electronic Archive in a company

The world that surrounds us is evolving into an increasingly electronic one. Analogue items are replaced by digital ones in virtually any aspect of human life. The change is particularly well visible in information and documentation management – an increasing number of data is provided and exchanged electronically. It is already nearly certain that paper is going to practically disappear from this area in the near future. That’s why many companies today decide to establish a professional Electronic Archive, the purpose of which is to replace a traditional archive.

Documents that should be transferred to an Electronic Archive

This is the basic issue that needs to be addressed if you want to make your new tool effective. Obviously, not all the documents generated by a company should be transferred to it as the costs of infrastructure and scanning process (for the time, at which paper functions) would certainly exceed the profits resulting from implementation. The answer always lies in your company’s business areas directly. It should be verified what documents are used in business processes and how often we use them. An analysis of these two variables is certainly going to provide data necessary to calculate your business case.

How to build an Electronic Archive?

When you have made a decision to develop an archive and selected the documents that should be transferred to it, you need to decide about the structure of your repository. There are two methods to choose from among the best practices available on the market. The first one offers a content-related structure, in which the archive is divided according to the content and type of documents. For instance, in banking, the archive is most frequently based on products such as mortgage, current account or deposit account. The second method is based on the given company’s organisational structure. It divides the resources of an electronic archive into divisions (such as accounting, legal or HR unit). The structure should be selected depending on the type of conducted business activity.

Functionalities that an Electronic Archive should offer

When you already have an answer to two strategic questions – what to archive and in what way – you are ready to decide what tool you should use to do that. There are many solutions available on the market. Most of them offer similar standard functionalities of a repository. When you choose one you should take into account additional elements that go beyond the standard – ones that should allow you to optimise your tool’s performance. Such functionalities certainly include: an opportunity to initiate a business process that begins with a document or controlling storage duration for documents in paper and electronic form. These features allow the system to perform its function and facilitate our everyday work.