The health of your information management practices can say much about your general business vitality. A robust information management program fully utilises the intelligence in your business data without endangering compliance. As not all data is created equally, it also reveals just how in tune your business is with customer, market and industry expectations.
Audit is a five-letter word that often doesn’t create much excitement. However, when it comes to your information management program, it is a very efficient diagnostic tool. A routine check-up monitors how you create, save and protect records across your organisation. It identifies positive practices, and reveals opportunities to reduce record-keeping costs and manage liabilities. An audit highlights areas of business operations that would benefit from improvement, mitigates legal risks and highlights financial trouble before it hits.
An audit will review all information management policies and procedures for currency and compliance. It will test the processes used to create and save records and confirm that employees, contractors and volunteers know about, and adhere to, the information management program.
Data creation happens at many touchpoints throughout an organisation. Every employee is responsible for the success of the information management program. An information management audit is sweeping. There are employees at all levels who can contribute frontline insights as to how to best support business needs, and yet comply with laws, regulations and policies. A cross-functional audit team, supported by the advocacy of the CEO and senior leaders, can explore every contribution and uncover honest feedback.
Without a clear understanding of the baseline, information management practices can be haphazard at best, a financial minefield at worst. A regular audit process enables you to set, and review, key performance indicators and goals. It is certain to produce the insights and recommendations to drive business improvement and operational excellence.