Things have changed a lot for records management in the last 20 years. Changes in technology and the types of records that must be stored and managed has changed the way records managers must do their jobs. Perhaps there were no regulations on how to save and store instant messages, social media or video when you got into records management, but those regulations exist now.
Any job that touches technology is going to be constantly reinvented and revised as technology advances, records management is no exception. Here are a couple of the trends that are shaping records management right now.
There’s more than a little talk about the shift from records management to information governance, but are they the same thing? Information governance is a discipline, a way to define how information is being managed. On the other hand, records management is actually managing that information. They may be two separate things, but they work well together. The recent focus on information governance is bringing records managers new tools and practices that help increase compliance and improve records management.
Digital preservation and migration
As technology changes, digital storage systems become obsolete. For digital records that require long-term retention, keeping these records accessible can prove challenging for record managers. Migration of records from outdated digital formats can be time consuming and expensive. Neglecting to preserve source codes for file formats and specifications for older products that are regularly updated, like Adobe products, can result in the unintentional loss of records. Digital preservation and migration needs to be actively managed, not an afterthought. Decisions on what information is necessary to migrate and what can be risked losing must be based on business needs and legal and compliance requirements.
Actively managing records is essential to reduce risks, keep costs down and ensure compliance. That means records managers need to keep up with, not catch up to, the records management trends.
What are some of the major changes or challenges your organization has noticed in records management in the last few years?