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Records Management – Pie in the Sky (Or Should I Say Cloud)

You know, records management is not pie in the sky, or should I say cloud? Whether you are, or thinking about using Office 365, or a different cloud vendor, records management is certainly not advisable in the cloud. Why? The main reason why you may not want to use the Office 365 – is if you have to meet some Records Standards such as DoD 5015.2, ISO-15489. Although, it is possible to use SharePoint with a third party records management solution to meet those standards.

Another reason that you may not want to put records in Office 365 is that within the Microsoft cloud based approach your data is kept on one or many servers and the complete disposition of records – “true” delete is not possible within Office 365 as there are backups that have copies everywhere.

Having your records being sent to servers outside your home country may also be a deterrent and also not be an option for some organizations. For example, the Canadian government does not allow data to be placed on foreign/US servers.

Most of our Office 365 (not all), view the cloud as a venue for ‘non secure’ collaboration. Whatever that means. Maybe it’s only my gap to bridge, but if you have information communicated with colleagues, partners, vendors, and an array of third party individuals, how would you know if information that should be tagged as a record somehow got intermingled with your ‘non-secure’ collaboration? Most likely you wouldn’t. The same would apply for security breaches or data exposures.

I still think there are quite a few considerations using Office 365 or similar animal. Without a plan, records management and security are just two of the issues in the cloud. What do you think? How did or will you handle?

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