Records Management Challenges When Using Cloud Vendors


Records Management Cloud Challenges

From healthcare to retail, records management is a growing challenge for companies of all types and sizes. HIPPA, PCI, and other regulations put responsibility on companies to safeguard customer data. Those requirements extend to data housed on cloud servers or with cloud vendors, but extending compliance and legal procedures to your cloud vendor isn’t always easy.

Enterprise Content Management Responsibilities

Enterprise content management, or ECM, duties usually fall to a group of individuals in departments such as knowledge management, record management, or corporate compliance. Best practices often keep several departments involved to help manage technical, production, and legal requirements related to records.

Responsibilities of record management include:

  • Securing data in compliance with all federal, state, and industry laws to protect the company and customers.
  • Managing the flow of information between your organization and the cloud
  • Auditing and managing appropriate access of records by workers and others.
  • Ensuring use of records is in keeping with company policies and regulations.
  • Accessing and preparing records in the event of an audit or legal eDiscovery request.
  • Disposing of records in a compliant manner at a time that is appropriate under legal and regulatory retention guidelines.

Because managing records in a big data environment can become complex, companies put detailed operating procedures in place to govern records responsibilities. The best policies work to protect the company and customers while ensuring easy, accurate, and complete access to records. Policies should cover how records are accessed, who may access records, data security, and data retention and disposal schedules.

Records SOPs and Cloud Vendors

It’s not enough to control in-house records management with strong procedures and staff training if you work with a cloud vendor. Your company is still responsible for data compliance, which means you should work with the cloud vendor to ensure outsourced data management work is done in compliance with your own SOPs.

Many cloud vendors understand the importance of compliance and are already compliant with major national and industry regulations, but it pays to be sure. Before contracting with a cloud vendor, discuss your company’s unique records requirements, including requirements for access in the event of an audit or legal eDiscovery request. Ask your vendor:

  • What is the policy for maintaining retention and disposal schedules?
  • How does the vendor guarantee records disposal is compliant with all applicable laws?
  • What are the responsibilities of the vendor and the company with regard to security and retention?
  • What audit and access options are in place to afford your company control of records?
  • How does the vendor charge for audit and disposal services?
  • Understanding how your cloud data vendor helps you remain compliant lets you move forward with complex records management with confidence.

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