Using a proper electronic record and document management solution could have prevented many of the current governance problems haunting SAA, with former chief executive Andre Viljoen alleging that his predecessor, Coleman Andrews, shredded key strategic documents belonging to the airline before he left office in 2001.

Dawid Jacod, CEO of Paper 2 Digital Storage Solutions (P2D), is adamant that legislation should change to force companies to capture and store their information electronically to prevent similar incidents – and technology is available to enable companies to digitise paper-based documents into tamperproof electronic documents that can be easily retrieved in seconds.
Jacobs points out that technology provides version control and a full electronic audit trial of every scanned document.
“This will prevent incidences like the SAA saga. Traditionally, companies stored their physical documents in archives and encountered major problems trying to manage and retrieve specific documents. This method proved to be costly and with many legal implications, especially with lost or damaged documents being a common phenomenon.
“More importantly, companies could face large fines when documents are not stored and managed correctly. Technology enables companies to digitise all their documentary evidence, but it remains a complex task with all the legislation and regulatory requirements,” he explains.
The growth towards electronic storage and record management has become the fastest growing industry worldwide with South Africa following as one of the fastest emerging markets. Record management is critical to every businesses success or failure, from SME’s to the larger corporations. To remain competitive, companies must realise the value of secure and rapid access to authentic documents by utilising a high-quality electronic record management service.
Although paper-based document management is still the norm, most companies now realise the risks associated with maintaining and managing their information. This information is crucial to decision making and needs to be easily accessible. They are fast realising the importance of capturing and storing their information electronically.