When Building a Records Management System, Start with the Foundation

By Linda Muller, Director, Records and Information Management

I’m currently working with two organizations that have been struggling with recordkeeping processes. Here is the all too familiar scenario: The companies know they are out of compliance, missing files are commonplace, space management is quickly becoming a major issue due to the paper volume on-site and costs are soaring because of the document management inefficiencies.

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IGP Certification: What is it and What Can it Mean for Organizations?

By Linda Muller, Director, Records and Information Management

Did you know that ARMA International’s IGP Governance Board offers a certification program for Information Governance Professionals? The mission of the IGP Certification Program is to provide an information governance credential within an ethical and professional framework to support individuals that deliver organizational value and reduce risk through document management. The program also recognizes individuals who have demonstrated that they know the ins and outs of their organization and its expectations. That includes knowing when to drive out excess cost, mitigate risk according to tolerance levels and when to actively use information for its business value.

The role of the information governance professional is strategic in nature, ensuring that opportunities to leverage information can be capitalized on, while preventing or mitigating risks posed by record keeping practices.  The IGP credential defines the competencies needed for implementing effective information governance practices; including accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance, availability, retention, and disposition.

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The Business Value of Information Governance Policy

By Linda Muller, Director, Records and Information Management

There has been a lot of discussion about “Big Data” recently and its potential to unlock powerful insights about everything from customer behavior to business processes. It is true that the massive amounts of data that organizations can (and are) now collecting has immense potential to be mined for valuable information—from transactional structured data to myriad unstructured sources including social media, mobile and customer service data. It is also now becoming clear that it is equally imperative for organizations to develop policies for managing this data.

Information Governance (IG) has emerged as an important topic of discussion for organizations large and small. At this year’s Legal Tech New York, The Honorable Andrew J. Peck discussed the growing need for defensible disposal of data with no business value. In Judge Peck’s words: “Part of the reason eDiscovery is so expensive is because companies have so much data that serves no business need. . . . Companies are going to realize that it’s important to get their information governance under control to get rid of the data that has no business need . . . in ways that will improve the company’s bottom line.”

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Meeting the Challenge of ESI

By David Winkler, Director Vertical Industry Marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation

One major topic for law firms and corporations today is the ever-increasing importance of electronically stored information, commonly called ESI. With challenges like outdated technologies, chain of custody risks, budget restrictions and threat of court imposed sanctions due to compromised or untimely evidence; it can be hard to manage all of the risks that come with ESI.

This is why it may be a viable option for organizations to seek out a data forensics professional.  These experts provide cost-effective, efficient and comprehensive services for a variety of civil and criminal disputes, as well as corporate/employee investigations. They specialize in offering valuable consultation and services to attorneys concerning eDiscovery, litigation support and expert witness testimony.

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Responding to the Growth in Records Management

By Linda Muller, Director, Records and Information Management

There has been tremendous growth within the Records Management industry in recent years, as organizations are forced to retain large volumes of data to meet business objectives as well as regulatory and legal requirements. Research and Markets estimates that nearly half of Global 2000 companies currently have enterprise-wide records management solutions in place. And according to 2012 research from IBISWorld, over the next five years to 2017, the Records Management industry is expected to continue to experience steady growth.

Law firms are no exception to this trend. Documents are a core asset of every law firm, and ensuring that firms have sound strategies and policies in place for the storage, retrieval and retention of records is vital to success.  Law firms also have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients to maintain, preserve, and protect client records using best records management practices.

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Is Your Law Firm Prepared to Handle eDiscovery?

By Regina Chepalis, National Director, eDiscovery Technology

As every attorney knows, litigation matters often involve some unexpected and demanding challenges. The rapidly evolving issue of eDiscovery is certainly no exception.

In our experience, no two eDiscovery challenges are the same, which is why it is important to ensure that your law firm has robust and scalable eDiscovery capabilities at the ready should the need arise. Developing those capabilities in-house is one option, but not always the most cost-effective and efficient approach. That’s why working with an experienced outsource partner makes a lot of sense for many firms.

Here’s an example:

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Quick Wins!

By Linda Muller, Director, Records and Information Management

When an organization sets out on a large project, such as rolling out a new document management system, the main focus is naturally on the strategic benefits it hopes to achieve. But in my many years working on such projects, I’ve found that there are often other, very unexpected benefits that arise in the course of the engagement that were never part of the original plan. I like to call these surprise benefits “Quick Wins.”

Quick Wins can take a variety of forms, but essentially they are simple improvements to workflow or practices that are inexpensive, have a positive impact on the business, easy to implement and not hard to “undo” if for some reason they don’t work out. While not within the scope of the larger engagement, quick wins are great ways to build momentum and buy-in for the strategic project by quickly demonstrating success and the value of having experience and knowledge gained from working with many different organizations over the years.

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Five Reasons Law Firms Choose to Outsource Management Services

By Mark R. Davey, Vice President, Legal Enterprise Solutions

How efficient are we? That’s a question being asked in nearly every law firm today. With the effects of the changing economic climate from 2008 still present today, heightened price competition and clients looking to receive more for less, forward-thinking firms are seeking out every way possible to drive efficiencies that will result in improved profitability. A recent Altman Weil survey of managing partners and chairs of over 200 U.S. law firms confirms this reality, finding that 96 percent of respondents said a greater focus on improved practice efficiency will be a permanent trend.

In light of this, firms are taking a close look at all aspects of their practice and workflows to identify where cost and process efficiencies can be mined and critical questions are being asked. Are cases staffed appropriately? Is the firm leveraging existing technology? Is office space optimized?

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Welcome to Legal Matters, Ricoh Legal’s new blog

Hello and welcome to Ricoh Legal’s new blog. We intend for this blog to be a place where we can share valuable resources and insights we’ve learned about integrating technology, people and processes and about comprehensive document solutions as a partner to the legal community for over two decades.

Whether you work in a law firm or an organization’s legal department, we know that your expertise is the cornerstone for everything you do. The same is true for us. We’re committed to bringing the largest and most experienced organization of legal document solutions to work for the legal community, as well as delivering premier eDiscovery services.

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