5 Ways to Reimagine Electronic Records Management for Government

For over two decades, the U.S. government has been working toward a paperless environment to help streamline processes and better serve citizens and constituents. And rightly so, since there’s an inherent need for the government to go paperless to better serve their mission.

Along these lines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently published its Government Digitization report, which found that using paper forms costs the federal government $38.7 billion. There are new efforts to digitize the government records management arena to help address these challenges.

These efforts include M-19-21 and now M-23-07, which mandate using an electronic recordkeeping solution, sending all existing paper documents to a Federal Record Center, and eliminating agency-operated storage facilities.

With the deadline for meeting M-23-07 extended to June 2024, now’s the ideal time for federal agencies to start developing plans for creating viable paths for achieving compliance.

To help agencies meet these mandates—and move current records management programs from physical to electronic—Docsign, in partnership with Collabware, Microsoft and Carahsoft, recently hosted the webinar: "5 Ways to Reimagine Electronic Records Management.”

Steps for achieving M-23-07 compliance

The webinar offered five concrete steps for how agencies can start the journey toward M-23-07 compliance:

  1. Identify resource barriers: Since M-23-07 is a mandatory requirement that is unfunded, identifying and overcoming funding barriers is paramount. This can include tapping into the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), seeking grants for state and local agencies, and auditing existing technologies to see what current capabilities exist.
  2. Assess paper and electronic content: Evaluate your current content by determining what exists in paper versus electronic format. This also includes understanding where the content lives, whether it’s housed in one unified system or across disparate and siloed systems. It is also critical to determine the risk of this content being on employees’ desktops and hard drives.
  3. Digital-first content generation: Start with a digital-first document generation strategy, which can eliminate manual steps across the content lifecycle, and automatically route the asset into a back-end records management system.
  4. Establish a secure approach to manage permanent and temporary electronic records: Data protection is critical and data sprawl is difficult to keep up with. Take a “protect first, analyze second” approach, which can be achieved by using FedRAMP-approved cloud systems and applications that enhance security and support compliance.
  5. Rethink enterprise deployments: The more predictable an initiative is, the more successful it will be. Ensure your enterprise deployment, pricing models and Cloud strategy are in alignment.

Change the culture of records and paper 

Of course, a critical element is creating cultural changes that can transform internal operations and improve mission efforts. For example, the webinar highlighted how modernizing electronic records management systems can enhance agency mission delivery through equitable access to information while maintaining information governance.

This approach will also help accelerate FOIA requests and minimize risk and data silos—all while increasing efficiency and productivity.

An end-to-end solution with Docusign, Microsoft and Collabware

No matter where you are in your journey to achieve ‘Zero Click’ records management, Docusign and Collabware demoed how attendees can get started today with the applications they’re already using and move toward an intelligent enterprise.

For example, Docusign eSignature allows agencies to digitize paper-based processes and business systems associated with their mission efforts. In addition, when implementing a secure and automated electronic records management technology, such as Collabware, agencies can get closer to a 'Zero Click' records management approach.

The demo also highlighted how agencies can reimagine electronic records with the applications they already use today, like Microsoft. Docusign and Collabware are Microsoft Preferred Solutions on Microsoft AppSource, representing a commitment to quality, performance and meeting the needs of mutual customers. Docusign has over 400 pre-built integrations and award-winning APIs, including user-centric integrations for Microsoft solutions, including Word, Outlook, SharePoint and Teams.

This integrated offering can help agencies meet the requirements of M-23-07 and ultimately improve and streamline operations by going paperless.

Watch the “5 Ways to Reimagine Electronic Records Management” on-demand webinar to learn more.

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