Monday, September 24, 2007


ECM: Recent Thoughts on Records Management

Awhile back, I made a comment on records management that wasn't quite accurate. Figured I would take this opportunity to correct myself...

I am surprised that Jesse Wilkins didn't call me out. My mention of IDARS as I have now learned really has nothing to do with records management and fits into a space that Gartner refers to as report management. As I understand, records management is more about tracking physical paper and there are applications that help manage this.

A records management application may know that my job application is in box 742, on shelf C, in aisle 23, in building 22. It may track retention and disposition status for lots of paper-oriented processes.

One of the things that I think this dialog should contain is whether records management even makes sense nowadays. Why do folks still keep paper? Why can't they simply scan all documents and store within an ECM repository such as Stellent, Alfreso or Documentum? Why aren't folks simply converting from micro-film and all of the headaches around climate control that it brings and moving more of it into the data center?

In terms of the thousands of applications a large enterprise may have, I have placed the notion of records management, in terms of its relative importance in the 996th position in a three-way tie with the application used by our employee fitness center along with the application the folks in the cafeteria use to keep track of employees who loose change in the vending machines. This reminds me to figure out if Gartner has a magic quadrant for lost change management applications?

I find it intriguing that in my travels, I haven't ran across a single Enterprise Architect who even cares about this space. I wonder what we are missing?

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