2020 was the year of upheaval and change. 2021 has been a year of adaptation. What will 2022 bring?

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that where and how we work can change quickly, but information must always remain portable and secure.

During a recent presentation I gave with my colleague, Jean Mackie (VP, Client Success at Access), and in partnership with ARMA International, we discussed a major challenge the pandemic exacerbated: accessing physical documents in a remote world.

In case you didn’t have a chance to join us, following are a few takeaways that I’d like everyone to know about from our session:

Most RIM Programs Have Room for Improvement

We’ve previously written on the Access blog about the state of the RIM industry. During this webinar, we confirmed once again that most RIM professionals self-report that their programs are not perfect, but they’re not hopeless either.

Over half of this webinar’s attendees noted that their RIM program was somewhere within stages 3 to 4 on the ARMA scale (in dev/essentials).

As you look toward improving your RIM program in 2022, the main question you need to keep asking yourself is ‘How will I get this information where it needs to be?’”

Real Estate Investment Will Be an Important Consideration in 2022

Rethinking what the office looks like today can have dramatic effects on the bottom line.

Whether downsizing to accommodate a reduced or distributed workforce, real estate budgets next year will be vastly different than they’d been in years past.

For instance, spending money on file room space is an expensive use of real estate if it’s just used to house paperwork. Instead, you could repurpose it to make room for more revenue-generating employees. Alternatively, as headline after headline tells us, many enterprises are choosing to divest their real estate outright since they no longer need the room for employees working remotely. It enables significant cost savings.

As I mentioned during the webinar, “No matter where you are on the spectrum of return to work, you’re certainly feeling the impact.” And either of these real estate scenarios would make a considerable impact on your records and information management program as well as your bottom line.

Incremental Digitization is the Best Path Forward

Digital transformation isn’t a one-and-done, singular event, it’s an ongoing process. As Jean noted during the presentation, transitioning to a digital-first enterprise “doesn’t mean scanning every single piece of paper.”

In fact, an incremental, hybrid approach is the most financially sound option and the most flexible for your workforce.

This adds up to a blend of archiving inactive documents, digitizing active documents, and if possible, switching to a digital-first format going forward to reduce the number of new files that are created in paper form.


Flexibility is key. As time goes on, the most important thing that organizations can do is adjust to client needs and the needs of the workforce.

Records and Information Management programs need to continue to be flexible in providing solutions that can handle the ongoing change from regular office environments to remote/hybrid work and beyond.

This includes outsourcing services to a partner – everything from offsite physical storage, and handling and digitizing documents and physical mail, to scan-on-demand, and active file management services. All can empower your employees to focus their time on completing higher value tasks for the business.

For more best practices advice and insights from our webinar, check out the full recorded session here: Offsite Storage in the Remote Working World (presented with ARMA International)

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