ISO 16175: Part 3 – business systems

ISO 16175 Part 3 should be read in conjunction with Part 1 of the standard, which contains an overview of basic principles for managing records in a digital environment.

What is a business system?

A business system is an automated system that creates, manages or stores information about an organisation's activities. Business systems differ from electronic document and records management systems (EDRMS) or electronic records management systems (ERMS) in that their primary function is to facilitate business transactions.

Examples of common business systems include line-of-business, case management, content management, human resource management and financial management systems.

Business systems typically store large volumes of information that are frequently updated. Not all information in a business system will need to be kept. For example, data may be duplicated or the data may have been drawn together and kept elsewhere.

The process of identifying 'records' entails identifying requirements for evidence of the business being conducted, and identifying the information in the business system needed to record this evidence. A record in a business system may consist of dispersed elements in a database that, when drawn together for a transaction, provide evidence of a business activity.

Functional requirements for information management in business systems

ISO 16175 Part 3 provides an overview of the high level functional requirements for records that may be incorporated into a business system. Functional requirements are broken down into four categories, each representing a different records management concept.

These requirements are:

  • to create records in context: the functionality required to create and keep records that are valid, accurate and protected from both accidental and deliberate unauthorised change.
  • to manage and maintain records: the functionality required to ensure records do not lose their evidential value during management processes including classification, retention, disposal, security and access.
  • to support import, export and interoperability: functionality required to exchange, import or export records both within and between systems, without the loss of content or metadata.
  • to retain and dispose of records as required: the functionality required in business systems to dispose of records in a managed, systematic and auditable way.

The functional requirements will be influenced by whether records are managed within the business system or are managed externally by export to or integration with a dedicated records management system. The requirements are generic and may need to be adapted to the agency's particular business needs.

The Business System Assessment Framework will assist with determining the appropriate functionality for your agency. This Framework is based on Part 3 of ISO 16175 which provides a streamlined, risk-based approach to the assessment of information management functionality in business systems.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019