Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Search makes Records Managers Obsolete

image It’s been said that IT Doesn’t Matter. The same has been said about Records Managers and the systems that Records Managers maintain.

Some of the thinking thrown around is that people can store whatever they want and they can find it whenever they need to with search.

This has several levels of truth to it:

  • Yes. People can store information wherever they want. Especially with cloud based storage services like Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and others.
  • Yes. People can search for things across different storage repositories and on any device that has internet access.
  • Yes. Anyone else that has access to these same tools can also find whatever they want on any of these repositories too.

Cloud based services include a powerful attractant. They allow people to do exactly what it says above. To Bring their Own Device. To store, access and potential re-route information … to any place, to any device, and at any time.

Adding Search to the Mix

Search is a powerful tool that allows both the employees and the people seeking to explore your business records access to what may be considered sensitive and privileged information. But, how will you know? A great IT team combined with an expert in Records Management can help your company secure content, apply governance policies and provide guidance for a legally defensible compliance strategy. A good IT team and a Records Management expert may be able to keep your sensitive documents from prying eyes.

If you believe that IT Doesn’t Matter, that Records Managers don’t matter and that Systems of Record are obsolete please raise your hand.

Also, raise your hand if you want to be one of the people that has the opportunity to:

a) Go to Jail

b) Pay a Fine

c) Lose your Job

And as a bonus …

d) Get your Company in the news (In an unflattering light)

Controlled Access signIf any of these situations sound like fun and you are interested in them you should continue using commoditized storage services and allow people to store whatever they want, wherever they want. However, keep in mind … the risk is not solely the responsibility of the single person involved in storing the information in the cloud. The business may be at risk too.

I’m not suggesting people stop using cloud based services for storage. I’m suggesting that IT DOES MATTER and that Records Managers ARE Important. These two teams are focused on insuring the business is protected. Specifically, that the data being stored as part of the various business processes are being properly managed, stored, and secured.

IT and Records Managers work very hard to provide Controlled Access. They aren’t trying to limit the business or limit peoples access to data. However, they have a very difficult challenge in trying to balance the “needs” of employees to Bring their Own Devices in a BYOD world and to balance the demands of the legal implications.

What’s the Risk?

image The risks are real and significant. Some of the risks are listed above in a, b, c and d. There are many other risks. You can likely fill in the blanks for risks you’ve seen in your business. And potentially see some exposure risks with some of the tools in the cloud based solutions you use every day.

IT teams and Records Managers have the challenge of insuring governance and compliance across the organization and these days around the world. Maintaining compliance and governance efforts is especially critical in regulated industries. Where a single misplaced document can cost millions of dollars and could cause significant harm to the business over both the short and long term.

Managing Risk is what the IT teams and Records Managers do every day. They are typically very good at what they do. Utilizing these teams to protect your business, your business documents and your employees is a wise thing. Smart businesses are making plans to include IT as part of the business process and the really smart businesses are taking what Records Managers say very seriously.

What do you think?

  • Do you think IT Doesn’t Matter?
  • Are Records Managers obsolete?
  • Will Cloud based services regulate themselves?

Drop a note here in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know.

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Jeff is a expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He is an international speaker and writer on the Intersection of People and Process in Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing. He is a contributing author toElite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax, Kodak and Winshuttle. Currently he is the Director of Strategic Alliances and Gimmal.

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