I just returned from a vacation trip in the Mediterranean region. This is something that my wife and I had talked about for many years, the idea that we would explore the ancient ruins in Rome, Athens and Ephesus. It was amazing to see the architectural accomplishments and how these structures have survived these many years. When you are standing amongst the ruins and see major portions of these ancient buildings still standing, knowing that the design was by human not software, and that the writings and carvings have been interpreted so that all can understand their meaning, it is all the more impressive. This also led me to think about our current times and the question of what will it be like centuries from now, and what will remain of our existence?
Will the infrastructure stand up to the tests of time? Will our information stores still be available and more importantly, accessible? The ancients documented many things through stone carvings, etchings and paintings that have endured the tests of time and they provided keys to unlock the mysteries of their meaning through translation tools like the Rosetta Stone so what of your technology infrastructure and format? Are you planning for longevity?
In my view, the ancient civilizations were well aware that in order to preserve their history and transfer their knowledge to future generations, adaptation and translation to emerging languages was essential. Long term preservation of their information with a means to translate to a common form was part of the plan, thus the creation of the Rosetta Stone. You need to think in the same way as the ancients, in that years from now, information that is vital to your organization must not only be made available but accessible. You need to look toward the future and prepare for transitional migration to newer formats and media. Longevity is an essential part of any ECM environment and should be part of yours. If as an organization, you are ready to move forward with longevity planning but are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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