Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Even more thoughts on Records Management
- James argues that IDARS has nothing to do with records management and is more about report management. I think there's a relation between IDARS and RM on the one hand and between IDARS and ERM (enterprise report management) on the other - but these are neither complete nor exclusive.
- for example in the case of federated records management. It's used to put a control framework around those records so that items declared as records cannot be edited or deleted prior to the expiration of the retention period, which is itself assigned according to the legal, administrative, fiscal, and historical value of the records.
- For those documents where the paper is not mandated to be kept, I agree that a better approach is to scan everything of value into e.g. Documentum or FileNet. I also agree that there are significant drawbacks with microfilm, including time to create, time to retrieve, need for controlled climate storage, etc.
- But with electronic storage comes another issue: preservation. CAD drawings, Microsoft Office documents, Adobe PDFs....none of these will last the lifespan of a building, or of a 787, or even more than 10 years, due to media lifespan, hardware availability, and software compatibility issues.
- Here's where I think James misses the RM boat. An enterprise that relegates effective records management - including policies, processes, skills, AND technology enablers - to 996th out of 1000 will almost assuredly end up regretting it, and that sooner than later.
- For those interested in much more information about records management and its practice regardless of the media used to store records, visit ARMA International (formerly the Association of Records Managers and Administrators) at http://www.arma.org. Again in the interests of full disclosure, I sit on the ARMA International Board of Directors. Their annual meeting and conference is Oct 7-10 in Baltimore, MD;
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