This page answers the frequently asked questions regarding electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS), including questions in relation to Microsoft 365 or Office 365.
Do I need to integrate my electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) with Microsoft 365?
It depends. Decisions relating to the pros and cons of integrating an EDRMS with Microsoft 365 depends on a range of factors, including your organisation’s:
- recordkeeping requirements and the Microsoft 365 applications and functionality deployed
- licence and funding arrangements for Microsoft 365
- existing EDRMS capabilities and existing workflows
- records and information management procedures, practices or business rules
- level of integration your organisation is capable of, has capacity to support or intending to implement.
For more information see: Microsoft 365 and recordkeeping
No. An EDRMS (electronic document and records management system) is one type of system that organisations can use to manage their records. If implemented well, an EDRMS can protect and manage records as authentic evidence of business to meet your organisation’s statutory and other responsibilities, and can assist you to address your organisation’s longer term needs for information. For further information about EDRMS, see our FAQs about EDRMS.
However, your organisation might prefer to manage records and information with short term retention periods in relevant business systems. For example, many organisations scan invoices directly to their finance systems. Most finance systems are well designed with strong audit, reporting and accountability capacities, and may be capable of maintaining this information for as long as it is required for legal and audit purposes
- your agency’s recordkeeping requirements,
- your agency’s requirements, capacity and capability to respond to information requests as part of GIPA or standing order 52
- Microsoft 365 licence and your staff’s capacity and capability to manage Microsoft 365
- how MS Teams was implemented, including how and where the chat messages were sent and saved: channels vs private channels
- the retention requirements of chat messages as records
- the volume of chat messages posted on channels or MS Teams sites
- the format of chat messages, including metadata and accessibility, when managed in place or exported out of its native application.
It is not uncommon for EDRMS implementations to go reasonably smoothly, but then for usage to drop after a year or two. Some of the ways to maintain use of an EDRMS include:
- having senior management mandate the use of EDRMS, and ensuring that there’ is an ongoing commitment of resources to monitor system usage, and train and support others in the use of the system
- having business unit managers embed staff usage of the EDRMS as a normal part of business process
- providing training for new and continuing staff on system use and recordkeeping responsibilities etc.
No. An EDRMS is an enabling technological tool. It will not meet all your records and information management needs or resolve all problems and issues.
An EDRMS needs to be:
- part of the wider Records Management Program
- configured and implemented to support the organisation
- overseen by appropriately skilled people
- supported by business rules, training, procedures
- tracked and monitored for quality and compliance purposes
Furthermore, records and information created in business systems, collaborative platforms and other systems also need to be managed. These records could be integrated into the EDRMS or managed in-place. The scope of the EDRMS should be defined and outlined in organisational policies, procedures and business rules
No. There are a number of factors that can still threaten the long term accessibility and use of records. For example, record formats in an EDRMS can still be affected by technological obsolescence. Your organisation will need to be vigilant in monitoring this.
The survival of records in the long term will also be dependent on whether your EDRMS continues to be supported by vendors and whether the software is upgraded when required. If records and their metadata need to be migrated between older EDRMS or versions and newer ones, the migration needs to be handled carefully to safeguard against data loss, corruption or alteration.
Sentencing records at their creation will assist you to manage the needs of longer term records over time. Records that are required as State archives, including digital records, can be transferred to the care of NSW State Archives and Records when they are no longer required for official business. For assistance, contact email@example.com.
It depends. The decision to integrate systems with an EDRMS will depend on:
- your recordkeeping requirements
- the types of information or records you manage
- staff usage of the EDRMS
- how well the EDRMS is currently functioning
- whether the business system has recordkeeping functionality
- viability of EDRMS integration
- risks and costs of integration.
We recommend assessing your business system in the first instance. For more information see: Checklist for assessing business systems.
Yes. An EDRMS is an ongoing commitment and responsibilities must be managed and resourced. Accountability must be assigned for the day to day administration of the system, quality assurance and monitoring, as well as managing re-configurations, enhancements, upgrades and further integrations between the EDRMS and business systems and/or business processes
- pick up any problems or issues that arise from using the system
- can provide useful statistics for assessment purposes or reporting against established KPIs
- assess whether existing staff will need refresher training to ensure that records are being created and saved, and that they are using the system appropriately
- ensure that new staff will be trained supported on the use of the EDRMS.