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The Future For Records Management Professionals
Records managers are central to an organization’s information management strategy. They are responsible for knowing what information exists, who has (or had) access to it, where it is now, how safe it is and when it’s time to let it go. Without these activities, organizations would be hard pressed to drive real business value from their information.
But the business world is rapidly changing, and their role and influence most evolve to keep pace. Today, information exists in multiple formats, many of them digital. As a consequence, responsibility for the management of digital information is often given to those in IT. This approach widens the divide between records management professionals, the information they strive to protect, and their place as a critical cog in the enterprise information management machine.
Recent studies have found that 48% of records managers in the United States say their role and responsibilities have changed significantly over the last five years. When it comes to the future, these team members and business leaders both agree on key trends and priorities, but also acknowledge that there is currently a skills shortfall in some of the most important areas.
Topping the list is the ability to add value to information through insight and analysis, followed by a need for strategic outlook and awareness of wider business goals. Interestingly enough, business leaders not only expect their records managers to be experts at the technical aspects of their jobs – including mastering security and compliance requirements and accessing information quickly – but they also identified soft skills like effective communication and understanding business objectives as critical skills for the future.
“Information resides at the intersection of people, technology and contexts. Successful information management programs create technical infrastructures that recognize and serve the goals of the people and organizations in which they reside. The knowledge to do so combines social and technical perspectives, and represents a new kind of skills-set that draws from different disciplines,” said Andrew Dillon, dean of the University of Texas School of Information. Overall, this suggests that the fundamental principles of information management hold firm, but are no longer enough on their own. Modern team members need to add value to the information in their care, with analysis, insight and understanding that reflects the latest business needs.
Interested in learning more about how to leverage your information (both physical and digital) into creating value? Contact us and one of our experts can share tips to making the most from your records management program. The Data Vault has been helping our clients manage and protect their valuable data since 1984, and the experience of our team here is second to none.