Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents 214 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24
INFORMATION + RECORDS MANAGEMENT
As the market leader in
management, Grace has helped
hundreds of councils to digitise and store
information. The next step is ensuring
that councils maximise productivity
benefits from records digitisation and
better manage cybersecurity risks.
Derryk Guyer, Sales Director at Grace
Information & Records Management, says
records digitisation is becoming a bigger
priority in local government. 'Many councils
accelerated their records-management
digitisation strategies in 2016. There was
real buy-in from staff and residents to put
more council information online.'
Guyer says local government is ahead
of many industries when it comes to
records management. 'Records digitisation
is prevalent across industry and
particularly so in local government. There
are significant financial and community
benefits from electronic council records.'
But councils can do more to
incorporate digital information into their
processes. 'It's not enough just to digitise
records and store them online,' says Guyer.
'The real upside is using digital information
to automate council processes, enhance
staff workflows and improve resident
satisfaction with council.'
Grace is ensuring that councils
achieve these outcomes through
greater focus on front-end information
management issues and enhanced
integration between Grace software and
council systems. 'We are working closely
with councils to identify the best way
to capture information and integrate
it within the organisation's internal
processes,' says Guyer.
Electronic forms are an example of
this integration. Grace is advising councils
on form design as part of information-
management planning. 'Optimising
data capture up-front improves
decision-making and automates many
internal processes,' says Guyer. 'The key
is understanding which data must be
captured, and how it will be stored,
retrieved and used.'
Reviewing data-capture processes
is an opportunity for councils to test if
they record unnecessary information
and store it for too long. 'Technology
servers have a finite amount of space,
and capturing too much unneeded data
can be cumbersome and costly. The aim
should be for the right council employee
to have the right data at the right time.'
Guyer says it is understandable
that some councils are only starting to
examine productivity benefits from records
digitisation. 'It's a big change to move
from paper-based to electronic records
management and storage systems. Many
councils are short-staffed in this area. Given
the constraints, it's been [making] good
progress, but so much more can be done.'
Safeguarding against cybersecurity
Grace is receiving more enquiries from
councils that are concerned about
cybersecurity risks -- a threat Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull in January
described as the 'new frontier of warfare'
The fear is that domestic or offshore
cybercriminals will hack into local
government servers to access sensitive
data about residents and other council
information. The large volume of local
government records -- and differing levels
of cybersecurity risk-mitigation strategies
across councils -- makes the sector a
potential target for criminals.
'Cybersecurity is fast becoming
one of the biggest threats for local
government,' says Guyer. 'No council
can afford the financial, reputational
and community damage from a serious
breach of its internet security. A major
cyber attack could cripple a municipality
and cause serious problems for residents
through potential identity theft.'
Grace is well positioned to help
councils to manage cybersecurity risks.
The company's state-of-the-art data
centre offers the most technologically
system in Australia for the local
Grace's Canberra document facility is
part of an elite group of Australian sites
accredited with the federal government's
Protective Security Policy Framework
(PSPF) Zone 4 clearance -- the highest
security accreditation a commercial
provider can achieve.
Online security was a factor in
Grace's selection to provide an online
portal solution for the Australian
Electoral Commission (AEC). The AEC
needed a solution for the ongoing
capture and storage of more than 1.9
Grace takes local-government
records management to a new level
State-of-the-art digitisation reaps significant financial and community benefits.
Derryk Guyer, Sales Director, Grace Records
and Information Management
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