Say Happy Birthday to RIM – 24 Years Old

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Records Management

Say Happy Birthday to RIM – 24 Years Old

April is Records and Information Management (RIM) Month. Now in its 24th year, it was developed to emphasize the importance of good record keeping and information management. You would think after all these years that businesses would have a greater appreciation of the accomplishments of their records management staff. Have you noticed that not so much is written about records management anymore? One would assume it is running smoothly. But is it?

For those of you too young to remember, the role and responsibilities of the records manager have changed drastically. I’m not sure the accolades have followed. A record is a record, regardless of physical form or characteristics. Today, formal records comprise any medium and any source of content, including all your social and communication channels, such as blogs, wikis, tweets, text messages, voice messages, images, videos, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr – you catch my drift.

Yet 46 percent of executive managers have no idea that they carry legal responsibility for social content. Compounding the issue is the lack of metadata generated by some social channels, suggesting that metadata would need to be manually applied.

And then we have email. No, I am not talking about administration, I am still talking about records. When initiating an email record, the retention and retrieval system is a crucial aspect of digital records management. Is there a specific definition you use for what makes an email a ‘business record’ or does your organization manage all emails, including personal emails sent and received on business accounts? How long must the emails be retained? Are there requirements for how and where they are stored?

And then we have compliance. With the onset of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the US now has 24 states that have implemented laws for privacy protection, and I am sure more will follow. A records professional may not oversee compliance, but identifying a record and what’s in the record is part of their remit.

  • Has all privacy data or sensitive content been identified and tagged?
  • Has it been redacted, if required?
  • Does anyone receive notification?
  • Where are these records stored?
  • Where should they be stored?
  • Are they processed in alignment with enterprise security policies?
  • Is records management considered a critical component in the organization’s cybersecurity strategy?

And then we have the end user. There are still many companies that rely on the end user to correctly tag records. Need I say more? We are all human and we all make mistakes. Even with classification software, the underlying technology can make or break the accuracy of auto-tagging a record.

Supposedly, only 20 percent of organizations employ effective metadata and classification of their data. Unless the technology can accurately and consistently capture the data at source, and identify the context from within content, the number of erroneously declared records will remain high. And guess who gets to fix things? The records professional, of course.

At any one time, 10 percent of an organization’s records are lost – misplaced, difficult to find, still in paper form, on a file share somewhere, or buried in an email attachment. Let’s consider the impact that 20,000 such records could have on a records professional. Who has to help find those records? Also, 82 percent of end users have a hard time navigating different systems and applications to find the correct version of a file. So even if a record isn’t lost, no one can find it. Guess who comes to the rescue?

In any case, thank goodness for all those professionals who work in the records management field. Without their hard work and diligence keeping our records straight, I can’t even imagine the consequences. Hey, don’t forget to thank them – a thank-you goes a long way.

Join us for our Crossing the Content Chaos Chasm – Where Does Records Management Fit? webinar, on Wednesday, May 8. Understand the value of an intelligent approach to content services, and how the right decisions reduce risk and cost, and remove traditional records management roadblocks.

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