"The user should not be a de facto records manager, now that methods of doing it automatically are available."...
Information governance, auto-categorization and e-discovery focus attention on RM.
Records management is generating an unusual degree of passion lately. Long held captive to an image of dusty file cabinets in the basement, accessed only when needed for legal purposes, records management is now being recognized as a critical component in information governance, a vital process that extends beyond—but includes—records management. The sheer volume of information with which organizations must cope is an important aspect of records management, because proper application of policies will eliminate unnecessary documents.
The need to locate information is another issue driving records management. If it is not classified correctly, information is much harder to locate quickly. Auto-categorization is helping to reduce the burden on users to declare and categorize documents as records, a step that is often overlooked or incorrectly carried out. Also, e-discovery has been driving records management because when records are properly managed, the process is greatly simplified and the threat of sanctions is reduced.
"Records management is a fundamental cornerstone of good governance," says Galina Datskovsky, senior VP of information governance at Autonomy, (an HP company) and president of ARMA International. "As a part of governance, records management touches multiple groups, including business users, the IT department, the legal community and executive management."
The broad relevance of records management also points to the need for interdisciplinary skills from the records management officer. "Records management should be involved in everything from procurement to e-discovery, and the leaders should have the skills to match this diversity of activities," says Jason R. Baron, director of litigation in the Office of General Counsel at the National Archives and Records Administration. "Records managers should be involved in a creative, interdisciplinary way to ensure that the role of records management is understood and supported."
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By: Judith Lamont Ph.D.