The bold future of decentralized RIM becoming centralized via software

By Jeffrey Lewis posted 08-01-2012 10:50


If an office wants to go to paperless or if they are creating electronic records at a rapid rate it is inevitable that their records management practices will become decentralized.  The most well intentioned centralized records manager cannot stop records from becoming decentralized in an electronic environment.  In a decentralized records environment the role of records manager is more of information governance and empowering users to manage their own records.

Part of the empowering in information governance is ensuring the proper tools are effectively implemented for content and records management.  I'd like to make the bold statement that maximizing the effectiveness and functionality of these tools can actually centralize the management of records even when records are decentralized. 

Records creator buy-in is crucial as a content management system only works when content is uploaded.  If they upload all information, whether it is a record or not, to the content management system, then that information can be managed by a central server.  The central server can apply retention and disposition, define which copy is official and which are reference, track the usage of records to close them, apply any necessary holds, etc.  In essence, the server becomes the records manager.  Some of this functionality may not be available, but it is definitely not outside the realm of possibility. 

In a decentralized records management environment, information governance is only  effective when custodians comply with RIM guidelines.  Records custodians often have other responsibilities and only care about the bare minimum of compliance.  Why not outsource as much as we can to the CMS and let the software do the work for us.  Vendors, if you are reading, please take note

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