New to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is Enterprise Content Management. Enterprise Content Management includes three major sections: Web content management, records management, and document management. The focus of this chapter is records management.
Organizations today are increasingly subject to state and federal regulations governing which electronic records they must retain, how long the records should be retained, and how readily the records should be made accessible to regulators. Some of these regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), are industry specific, while others regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), apply to a wide range of industries. Organizations have found that defensive business practices call for good data management to protect the company during litigation. Organizations are often required to produce copies of documents and files deemed to be relevant to a lawsuit or prosecution. In some cases where an organization could not produce the requested documents, courts have ruled that the documents are assumed to have been relevant and would have supported the plaintiff's arguments. Organizations can no longer afford to not have control over their documents and e-mail messages.
In this chapter, you will learn how you can use Office SharePoint Server 2007 to automate and systematize the process of managing information records for regulatory compliance. You will examine the technology and review possible strategies you should discuss with your legal counsel to determine which ones best apply to your compliance needs.