Where's the Future of Records Management? Everywhere.

October 18, 2019by Robert Cruz

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Getting ready to hit Nashville for another awesome #ARMA InfoCon annual conference. This year’s event will again bring interesting discussions of the future of records management, enterprise content management, and document management, as well as intriguing displays of human bingo and very impressive karaoke talent at booth 1128.

But one thing that appears to be missing is a set of questions about how organizations can respond to the changing ways employees communicate and collaborate: Changes being pushed by central IT as they roll out Office365. Changes being pulled by a new generation of customers who bring their preferred communications tools that they want you to support. Changes springing up organically within departments and business units that are attempting to improve collaboration by deploying Slack, Zoom, Symphony, Jira, and other tools. And changes created by that mobile device or tablet that your employees are likely using for business at this very moment.

Being consumed by the evolution of content management into content services as it is deployed in the cloud is missing the point. The revolution happening right now calls out the need to reexamine facts about the content itself: The fact that content lives everywhere and contains information that has business value and business risks, and the fact that each of these new content sources has its own native capabilities to capture and preserve information that can trigger a firm’s regulatory or records obligations.

Many of these sources contain a mix of modalities—including video, voice, co-authoring and app sharing, and emojis—making it clear we are entering a new era that goes well beyond the monolithic world of email, files, and documents. A typical large organization may be supporting more than 20 of these content sources, meaning identifying and securing business records has become exponentially more complex and should be an immediate concern for anyone carrying an ARMA name badge with the word “records” or “governance” in the title.

For those wondering whether the future of records is here and now, let me offer a few data points:

  • Slack is now measuring the use of its platform in terms of “engagement,” and recently reported that there are 5 billion “actions” on Slack every week, which includes sending messages, uploading files, and searching within the app 
  • In a recent study led by Forrester Research, users of Microsoft Teams reported a 17% reduction in the volume of emails received daily and a 19% reduction in the number of meetings attended weekly
  • According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Study59% of adults use their personal smartphone during normal working hours “very/fairly often,” while more than 33% do so outside of normal working hours 
  • Text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook, and 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of delivery 

So, for those seeking improved productivity and immediacy in communications the ROI offered by today’s tools is clear. But what about the discussion of business value and risk? What are the questions we should be asking about that? Here’s a start:

  • Do your records programs currently acknowledge the growing use of social, mobile, and collaborative tools, or are they simply considered to be transitory communications?
  • Are you confident that your prohibition policies are being adhered to, and how big do you believe the shadow IT problem really is?
  • Have you seen ephemeral messaging tools such as WeChat and WhatsApp in your organization, and how are you dealing with them?
  • Are you moving to Office365 and concerned that you cannot implement the policy controls that you had previously developed for your on-premises systems?
  • Do you know how many times per day intellectual property or sensitive content is inappropriately shared on Microsoft Teams or Slack?

These are not easy questions to answer, but we look forward to sharing a few tips and emerging best practices in our session on Monday at 2:50 p.m. in the Industry Intelligence session in VRC Room-Bayou E, Delta Mezzanine. (And while listening to some very impressive karaoke at booth 1128.)

 

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Robert Cruz

Robert Cruz

Senior Director of Information Governance at Smarsh
Robert Cruz is Senior Director of Information Governance for Smarsh. He has more than 20 years of experience in providing thought leadership on emerging topics including cloud computing, information governance, and discovery cost and risk reduction.
Robert Cruz
Archiving and Compliance Blog

Our Blog explores the news, trends and best practices in electronic recordkeeping. It’s about managing and getting value from your electronic communications data. It’s about satisfying legal and regulatory obligations. It’s all about turning compliance liability into business insight.

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Smarsh handles information you submit to Smarsh in accordance with its Privacy Policy. By clicking "submit", you consent to Smarsh processing your information and storing it in accordance with the Privacy Policy and agree to receive communications from Smarsh and its third-party partners regarding products and services that may be of interest to you. You may withdraw your consent at any time by emailing privacy@smarsh.com.