July 10, 2024

Navigating the Digital Transformation: A Guide for Records Centers

Post Summary

Records centers must embrace digital transformation to remain competitive. Adopting cloud-based solutions, automating workflows, enhancing data security, and utilizing online marketplaces are key strategies. The blog shares successful case studies and provides actionable steps for continuous improvement, emphasizing the importance of building resilient business models through industry collaboration.

Pete Kreiser

Vice President, Marketing

The world of information management is undergoing a seismic shift. Driven by factors like digital transformation, globalization, and ever-evolving regulatory landscapes, records centers face a unique challenge: adapting their business models to remain competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing environment. 

The digital revolution is transforming every industry, and records management is no exception. Customers increasingly expect “on-demand” access to information, regardless of location or time zone. Legacy paper-based systems and siloed data storage are becoming impediments to efficient information retrieval and hinder customer satisfaction.

A 2022 study by International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 80% of organizations worldwide are actively engaged in digital transformation initiatives. The records management sector cannot afford to lag behind this trend. By leveraging online marketplaces, records centers can:

  • Modernize their infrastructure: Move beyond physical storage limitations and embrace cloud-based solutions for secure and scalable data management.
  • Optimize workflow efficiency: Automate routine tasks like document retrieval and access authorization, freeing up staff time to focus on higher-value services like data analysis and information governance consulting.
  • Enhance data security: Modern platforms employ robust security measures to protect sensitive customer information, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.

Case In Point: DocuWare

A prime example is DocuWare, a leading provider of cloud-based document management solutions. Recognizing the shift in customer expectations, DocuWare offers a robust platform that allows users to securely store, manage, and access their documents electronically. 

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This provides customers with 24/7 access to their records and real-time data visibility. This not only enhances customer experience but also fosters deeper customer engagement, as clients can easily track the status of their documents and access them anytime, anywhere.

The globalization of information management practices presents exciting opportunities for records centers with the vision to expand their reach. International compliance standards, cross-border data flows, and the growing demand for secure, geographically dispersed storage solutions are all factors shaping the global information governance landscape.

According to a MarketsandMarkets report, the global records management market is projected to reach USD 28.2 billion by 2027, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.8%. By embracing online marketplaces and adapting to the global market landscape, records centers can capture a significant share of this growing market.

The digital revolution is transforming every industry, and records management is no exception. Customers increasingly expect “on-demand” access to information, regardless of location or time zone. Legacy paper-based systems and siloed data storage are becoming impediments to efficient information retrieval and hinder customer satisfaction.

For instance, an online marketplace could partner with records centers across different regions, each specializing in compliance with specific regulations like GDPR in Europe or SOC 2 in the United States.

Moreover, with robust data security protocols in place, these platforms facilitate secure transfer and storage of information across borders, catering to the needs of multinational corporations with geographically dispersed operations. This might involve utilizing international data centers that meet stringent security standards and adhering to data residency requirements in different countries.

Finally, online marketplaces connect records centers with a global network of potential customers, fostering new business opportunities and facilitating entry into international markets. For example, a records center in the United States could use an online marketplace to connect with companies in Asia seeking secure storage solutions that comply with local regulations.

Building a Resilient Business Model with Online Marketplaces

The traditional brick-and-mortar model of records management faces several challenges in the digital age. Reliance on physical infrastructure can limit scalability and adaptability to evolving customer needs. Additionally, the high costs associated with maintaining physical storage space can impact profitability.

A 2021 study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that embrace digital marketplaces experience 20% to 50% faster revenue growth compared to traditional models. By leveraging online marketplaces, records centers can build a more resilient business model, future-proof their operations, and ensure sustainable growth. Online marketplaces offer a solution by enhancing scalability and expanding sales channels.

First, digital platforms provide the flexibility to quickly adapt services and offerings in response to changing market demands and customer needs. For example, a records center could leverage an online marketplace to introduce new services like data migration or digital forensics to cater to evolving customer requirements.

Additionally, marketplaces provide records centers with access to a wider customer base, reducing reliance on traditional sales channels and fostering new business opportunities. An online marketplace could connect a regional records center with companies located far beyond their geographic reach, opening doors to new markets and potential clients.

Building a Resilient Business Model with Online Marketplaces

The records management industry has traditionally been viewed as a fragmented landscape. Collaboration between different stakeholders, such as records centers, data management specialists, and legal professionals, has often been limited.

Online marketplaces are a fantastic way to bring people together in the industry. They make it easy to share knowledge by providing a platform where records centers can connect and exchange best practices, sparking innovation and collective growth. For example, an online marketplace might host webinars or forums where folks can chat about industry trends, regulatory updates, and tips for secure data storage and management.

These platforms also encourage partnerships. They help records centers find and connect with complementary service providers, leading to the creation of comprehensive information management solutions for customers. Picture this: a records center teams up with a data encryption specialist they met on an online marketplace. Together, they could offer a combined service package that ensures both secure storage and robust data protection for customers.

Finally, these marketplaces help streamline industry standards. By working together, records centers can develop and adopt standardized practices, like common data formats, security protocols, and record retention policies. This not only makes things more efficient but also improves the overall quality of service delivery for customers.

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Case In Point: DHL

A recent initiative on Box, a leading cloud content management platform, brought together a consortium of records centers in the United States and Australia. This collaboration focused on developing a standardized approach for secure electronic signatures across both countries. 

This will significantly benefit both the participating records centers and their clients by streamlining cross-border transactions and ensuring the legal validity of electronic documents. This instance highlights the potential of online platforms to foster collaboration on a global scale, ultimately enhancing the service offerings of records centers for their international clientele.

The Road Ahead: Embracing Change and Continuous Improvement 

The information management landscape is constantly evolving. Regulations are updated, technologies advance, and customer expectations shift. Records centers that embrace a culture of continuous improvement and readily adapt to change will be best positioned for success. 

Here are some actionable steps records centers can take to thrive in the digital age: 

  • Invest in digital transformation: Modernize your infrastructure with cloud-based data management solutions and explore the benefits of online marketplaces. 
  • Focus on customer experience: Prioritize customer needs by offering 24/7 access to records, transparent pricing models, and a streamlined user experience. 
  • Embrace collaboration: Leverage online marketplaces and industry associations to connect with peers, share best practices, and foster industry-wide innovation. 
  • Stay informed: Keep abreast of emerging trends in data management, information governance, and regulatory compliance. 

By adopting these strategies and embracing the opportunities presented by the digital age, records centers can build a resilient business model, enhance customer satisfaction, and solidify their position as trusted partners in the ever-evolving world of information management. 


The information management landscape is undergoing a significant transformation. Driven by digitalization, globalization, and ever-evolving regulations, records centers that embrace change and adapt their business models can thrive in this dynamic environment. By leveraging online marketplaces, investing in digital transformation, and fostering industry collaboration, records centers can unlock new growth opportunities, enhance customer service, and build a more resilient future.

Key Takeaways: 

  • The digital revolution is transforming customer expectations in information management, requiring records centers to offer “on-demand” access and real-time data visibility. 
  • Online marketplaces empower records centers to modernize their infrastructure, optimize workflows, and enhance data security. 
  • The global information governance landscape presents exciting opportunities for records centers to expand their reach by catering to international compliance standards and facilitating secure cross-border data flows. 
  • Online marketplaces offer a platform for knowledge sharing, fostering collaboration within the records management industry and leading to the development of standardized practices. 
  • Records centers that prioritize continuous improvement, invest in digital transformation, and embrace collaboration can build a resilient business model and solidify their position as trusted partners in the evolving world of information management.