Electronic Record Keeping Helps Create A More Paperless World

Steve Lee, Managing Partner of Steve Lee & Associates
Posted on Tuesday 6th October 2009

Businesses frequently ponder how they can improve their environmental impact and “carbon footprint” when they are uncertain about their legal responsibility to store tons of original documents in their jam-packed file cabinets and sky-high storage facilities. Well, ponder no more! There are data remediation services available that provide expertise in litigation, records management, discovery and the management of vast data sets.

These data remediation programs aid businesses in legally and ethically discarding and recycling their data. Data can include electronically stored information, paper documents, microfiche and other media. Data remediation experts work with budding enterprise-level environmentalists wary of ridding their storage facilities, file cabinets, desks, and servers of years’ worth of documents.

Corporations, for instance, keep millions of boxes of paper records, thousands of pounds of microfiche, millions of back-up tapes and tons of old disks -- all just sitting around in storage. These data remediation programs can help to legally and ethically discard and recycle millions of pounds of paper records.

The best part is that a businesses’ return on investment is typically achieved within just months. There are immediate cost savings on storage, and considerable savings – though much more difficult to predict – associated with avoiding future and unnecessary litigation discovery review.

So, just how does this process work? Well, first, data remediation experts obtain an understanding of the origins, policies and practices that gave rise to a company’s records and which of those records need to be maintained. Using proprietary document recognition, statistical analyses and artificial intelligence routines, they develop and implement iterative document sampling methodologies to test the content of the records and to determine whether or not they need to be preserved. Information that should be maintained is identified and stored. Information that need not be preserved can be securely recycled.

Electronic record keeping makes it possible to live in a more paperless world. Understanding and remediating dormant records helps enterprises offload storage costs and environmental burdens. When companies divest themselves of mountains of paper, they save money, curb energy waste and reduce the enterprise’s carbon footprint. This ultimately helps to mitigate deforestation. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, including Mother Earth!

Steve Lee is a Managing Partner at Steve Lee & Associates (SL&A). Leveraging its expertise in litigation, records management, discovery and the management of vast data sets, SL&A has pioneered a cutting edge data remediation initiative in coordination with the National Electronic Discovery Practice of a global law firm. For more information, please contact Steve Lee at stevelee@stevelee.com.

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