E–Records Definitions, Business Drivers, and Benefits

First, some basic definitions of core terms used in this text: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines (business) records as “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.”1 It further defines records management as “[the] field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records.”2

The U.S.–based Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA), defines a record as “evidence of what an organization does. They capture its business activities and transactions, such as contract negotiations, business correspondence, personnel files, and financial statements. . . .”3

Electronic records management (ERM) has moved to the forefront of business issues with the increasing automation of business processes, and the vast growth in the volume of electronic documents and records that organizations create. These factors, coupled with expanded and tightened reporting laws and compliance regulations, have made ERM increasingly essential for most enterprises—especially highly regulated and public ones—over the past decade.

ERM follows generally ...

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