New guidelines to help identify and manage records date

New guidelines to help identify and manage records

Standards Australia is today launching a new national Standard to help organisations identify and manage records.

The Standard, titled AS 5090:2003-Work process analysis for recordkeeping, assists companies in defining and identifying their business processes and procedures in order to build effective information management systems.

According to Mr David Moldrich, Chairman of Standards Australia's CommitteeIT-021 for Records Management and one of the key instigators of the Standard, companies have been trying to manage information without a clear understanding of their organisation.

"We started developing the standard four years ago, when the term 'workflow' was first being used in the IT industry. Many companies saw this as a purely IT-driven concept and wondered why big IT implementations weren't delivering what they had expected. The reality is, workflow has always been a part of businessprocesses, and without understanding exactly how your business works, no'workflow' solution will succeed.>p>"This Standard helps companies to intimately know and understand thebusiness rules and procedures behind their workflow. It provides adefinition of work process analysis and its application, guidelines forundertaking the analysis, and specific questions to assist companiesimplement the Standard. From there, they can build upon the Standard todevelop an effective IT solution."

"Capturing, maintaining, retaining, storing and retrieving corporateknowledge and information is of growing importance and an escalatingbusiness expense. The average white-collar employee spends in excess of 20percent of their time trying to find information or find out who's got theinformation. By leveraging this new Standard, businesses both large andsmall will be able to achieve major savings in both time and costs," saidMr Moldrich.

The Australian business community has already expressed support for the newstandard. According to Phil Chambers, Managing Director of Fuji XeroxAustralia, while most organisations have invested heavily in informationtechnology over the past decade, not enough attention has been paid to thehuman and procedural aspects of business management.

"The work process analysis for recordkeeping Standard is an important step towards redressing the balance. It's about improving the integrity and consistency of corporate management and understanding the importance of managing corporate procedures, documents, data flows and records.

"As more and more business activities are being conducted electronically,now is the opportune time for organisations to leverage information technology and integrate recordkeeping with existing work processes. Fuji Xerox is committed to working with Standards Australia and the business community to address this," said Mr Chambers.

Mr Ross Wraight, Chief Executive of Standards Australia, believes theStandard is even more important for organisations needing to demonstrateaccountability and reliability to stakeholders. "In these uncertain times, companies need to regain the confidence of investors by demonstrating greater accountability and transparency, and this landmark document, as part of the Recordkeeping Standards suite of documents, will be a vital tool for business.

"Multi-billion dollar corporate scandals both globally and here in Australia have opened the darkened backrooms of many large organisations to the full glare of public exposure, and it has often been an unpleasant sight. Disorganised processes and lack of information management have led to some of the biggest corporate collapses in our time. By using this Standard, organisations can have confidence in their work processes and records management," said Mr Wraight.

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