By Alyssa Blackburn.
Records Management: “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
I love the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” and Dorothy’s line to Toto is one of my favourites. There’s such a sense of uncertainty and a need to find the familiar. But there’s also the underlying feeling of excitement that comes when facing great change.
I might be one of the few people in the world who can honestly say I love records management. I mean, really love it. I once went on a date and by the end of the evening had drafted an entire classification scheme on a napkin for the person to take home (what a catch I hear you say!).
I love knowing that people have the information they need to do their jobs easily and efficiently. Furthermore, I love knowing that information that needs to be, will be there for the long term. And I love being able to destroy things when it’s legally permitted and when those items are no longer required.
The changes just keep coming
I feel very fortunate to watch as the industry changes, seemingly before my eyes. When I first started, everything was still primarily paper based, even though I’ve never actually worked without a computer.
Most organisations then were still of the view that you did your initial work electronically and then printed it out and put it on a file.
I saw the advent of the ‘solve all’ electronic document and records management system (eDRMS). This attempted to move users from file shares, network drives and (horror!) floppy disks into a records management system.
The problem with this, of course, was that physical records management process had just been converted to an electronic environment, when really the two didn’t match at all.
I’ve also watched Microsoft’s SharePoint 2007 literally change the game of enterprise content management, giving collaboration tools straight to end users and nightmares to records managers everywhere.
Looking to the future
And now, the whole thing is changing again with Office 365.
The tools are becoming more sophisticated, with more and more features designed for the records manager and not just the IT administrator. This is giving records managers everywhere more visibility into and control over SharePoint than they’ve ever had before.
Records management constraints are being lifted allowing organisations to configure their records management to how they want to work.
I would say that I am enthusiastic end user of the Office 365 features, but nervous as a records manager.
This is why, as organisations across the globe adopt Office 365, it’s vital that records managers have an understanding of the functionality their organisation is getting, how their users are working with these new platforms, and most importantly how they will wrap records management processes around or through this.
Office 365 is no longer the sole domain of IT. There are now privacy and compliance features, legal and disposal hold functions, auto classification and retention and disposal, to name but a few. The records manager who is not at the table is one who is going to be left behind as the industry evolves.
We may not be in Kansas anymore, but wherever we are is pretty exciting!
You can learn more about this topic and discuss your love of records management with me at this year’s Digital Workplace Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
Session Topic: Can you really use Office 365 as a records management solution? 5 things you should know
Location: Thought Leadership Room, Cordis Hotel (formerly The Langham), Auckland
Date and Time: 1st May 2 – 3pm, NZST
You can also enter our competition to win a free to pass attend the conference. Follow AvePoint on Twitter @AvePoint_Inc to find out more!
To stay up to date on all things Office 365, SharePoint and more, be sure to subscribe to our blog!
Interested in records management in Office 365? Read more about our Cloud Records solution and register for a free trial.