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Gestión de documentos frente a gestión de registros: ¿Cuál es la diferencia y por qué es importante?

El equipo de NetDocuments
agosto 4, 2021

Document and Records Management systems share many similarities. In fact, in this digital age, if you want to manage electronic records then the features and functionality required to manage electronic documents provide a solid foundation for records management. This was reflected decades ago when records management professionals who had managed archives of physical records started talking about EDRM – Electronic Document & Records Management. The industry has moved on, and there are nuances to managing documents and records, so it is important to understand how these disciplines differ and where they overlap.

¿Qué es la gestión de documentos?

Document management is the practice of providing structure to unstructured data using various tools and strategies. It’s important to remember that a document is a form of information that is generally considered to be ‘unstructured’, as opposed to the structured rows and columns of a database. A DMS is a key tool in providing structure to that unstructured data.

In practical terms a document management system (DMS) provides tools to help you create, edit, store, find, share and generally manage your documents, which might be word processing documents, presentations, spreadsheets, pictures, PDF files etc.

But what does this functionality really accomplish? Let’s look at some of the goals of document management to find out.

El propósito de la gestión de documentos

At a high level, the primary goal of document management is to organize your information and make it possible for people to find what they need, when they need it; but there are several factors that can influence your success.

Una sólida estrategia de gestión de documentos (y sistema de gestión de documentos, o DMS) apoya ese objetivo al ayudar a:

  • Mantener el control de versiones
  • Mejorar la búsqueda de documentos
  • Digitalice documentos físicos
  • Evite documentos perdidos o mal archivados
  • Establecer una única fuente de verdad
  • Mantenga organizados los documentos y carpetas, incluidos los documentos electrónicos

Of course, for law firms and legal teams, security and compliance are also high priorities — especially when teams are dispersed. Malicious behavior and even simple human error can derail a document management strategy and expose your organization to risk. That’s why it’s so important that you have processes and tools in place to control user access to documents, including ethical walls, to establish your DMS as the single source of truth for your organization.

Cómo ayuda un sistema de gestión de documentos (DMS)

As we already discussed, a DMS is a software platform that helps organizations manage documents using a suite of tools for securely storing, organizing, modifying, and sharing documents — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the key advantages of a DMS is that it simplifies and streamlines many of the processes that could undermine a solid document management strategy. It helps your team members maintain document organization and enables them to efficiently carry out their tasks however complex your workflows are.

Además de las herramientas y funciones que mejoran la productividad, otro aspecto increíblemente valioso de un DMS es seguridad de documentos mejorada. Debido a que la confidencialidad y el cumplimiento son tan vitales para el trabajo legal, ninguna organización puede permitirse pasar por alto la seguridad de los documentos al elegir un DMS y crear una estrategia de gestión de documentos.

¿Qué es la gestión de registros?

Across the world there are many different governmental and organizational definitions of what constitutes a ‘record’, but in 2001 the International Standards Organization (ISO) ratified a global standard for records management, ISO 15489. The ISO standard tells us that:

"Records Management is 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"

But what is a record, and why do we need to treat them differently?

The ISO also defined what a record is: "information created, received, and maintained as evidence and as an asset by an organization or person, in pursuit of legal obligations or in the transaction of business".

So not all your documents may be classified as records, and not all your records will be documents. The basic definition of a record as an item that provides evidence of a business transaction, or the pursuit of a legal obligation can be modified and added to depending on the legal jurisdictions within which you operate, and any specific regulations that pertain to your industry.

Los propósitos de la gestión de registros

Ultimately, the purpose of keeping these records is to comply with laws and other regulations and protect your organization from risk. For example, if your firm or company were audited, it may face significant fines or other penalties if records are not properly managed. The best defense is to have a records management strategy that includes well-documented records management policies.

Going beyond good document management practices, records management may require additional elements including developing clear policy and procedures for retention (keeping records for a set period) and disposition (final destruction of the record). A records management strategy can help by providing processes for:

  • Hacer cumplir los períodos de retención requeridos para los registros almacenados
  • Establecer controles de acceso de usuario y evitar ediciones en el registro
  • Ayudar con el descubrimiento electrónico o aplicar retenciones legales cuando sea necesario
  • Mantener una pista de auditoría que documente cómo se gestionó el registro desde la declaración hasta la disposición.
  • Crear un inventario de registros para realizar un seguimiento de los registros que se mantienen, a veces llamado declaración y registro.
  • Gestionar la eliminación de documentos físicos y electrónicos (por ejemplo, archivar, eliminar o destruir registros inactivos al final de su ciclo de vida)
  • Applying retention schedules based on a record’s legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical value

¿Cómo ayuda el software de gestión de registros?

Records management (RM) software enables you to efficiently capture, identify, store, and dispose of business records according to necessary policies, procedures, and regulations.

When a firm or corporation deals with a large volume of records, it’s often helpful to have a dedicated system that can support records management activities — from securing restricted files to maintaining a records inventory to managing disposition requests. A specialist records management tool is particularly useful when you need to manage physical records (actual files full of paper) as well as electronic records, particularly when these records might be managed off site by a specialist service provider.

Por qué necesitamos diferentes herramientas

A DMS can provide much of the functionality required to implement your records management strategy for electronic records that are held in the form of documents, be that Word files, emails, presentations etc.

A DMS can be configured and organized so that is workspaces or folders reflect the records management file plan. File plan references and retention schedule labels can be stored as metadata for each document within the DMS. It can also provide retention and disposition functionality, although it is not usually as sophisticated or as flexible as that found in a specialist records management system. This DMS functionality can be particularly helpful if your records strategy includes a requirement to “manage in place” – that is you do not wish to copy or move (often referred to as archiving) your documents to a separate system.

However, when you start to increase the volume of records, the complexity of your file plan or retention schedule, or you need to manage physical records and electronic records across multiple and diverse systems covering both structured data, and unstructured information, then you really need a specialist RM system. Such a system will provide additional functionality above and beyond that provided by the DMS to ensure that:

  • Pistas de auditoría incompletas
  • Documentos y archivos no seguros
  • Búsqueda y recuperación ineficaces de archivos
  • Incumplimiento de requisitos legales
  • Dificultad para acceder a los documentos y colaborar en ellos
  • Cambios accidentales realizados en los registros después de la finalización
  • Procesos de eliminación manual de documentos que requieren mucho tiempo
  • Almacenamiento costoso cuando los archivos se mantienen después de su período de retención
  • Contenido duplicado y / o confusión en torno a documentos de trabajo frente a registros
  • … y mucho más.

The complexity of your business requirements, your legal and regulatory compliance needs, and many of the other factors mentioned above will determine whether a DMS can help realize your records management strategy, or whether you need a separate records management system.

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of different legal software types, plus how they overlap and complement each other, check out our Legal Technology Cheat Sheet.

Cómo puede ayudar NetDocuments

As the leading cloud-based document management system, the NetDocuments platform is designed to help legal professionals maximize productivity with a suite of robust tools that allow you to create, edit, store, locate, and collaborate on documents — anywhere, on any device, with award-winning security capabilities.

NetDocuments provides features to apply to your records management policies to documents within our system, including flexible retention policies, legal holds capabilities, secure deletion and an extremely flexible metadata model that can map to a file plan or retention schedule.

Creemos que siempre debe tener acceso a lo mejor que la tecnología tiene para ofrecer, razón por la cual NetDocuments se integra con numerosos proveedores líderes de administración de registros. Esto garantiza que sus procesos se mantengan optimizados y seguros sin sacrificar las funciones o la experiencia. Y aunque NetDocuments no es un sistema de gestión de registros, apoyamos las mejores prácticas de gestión de documentos y registros al permitir que los usuarios definan documentos políticas de retención y archivo en la plataforma. Esto le permite eliminar y purgar archivos de forma permanente según los criterios que elija.

Al combinar su sistema de administración de registros con un DMS potente, seguro y flexible como NetDocuments, puede asegurarse de que su equipo tenga las mejores herramientas para hacer su mejor trabajo.

Learn more about how NetDocuments can support your document management and records management strategies by scheduling a consultation today.

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