So you're an information or records manager -- quick -- what kind of information do you manage?
How you answer this question says a lot about your career trajectory to this point and your prospects for the future. Why? Because records managers' jobs are no longer only about documents, records and images. They're about information in all its forms and formats and getting comfortable with this holism is perhaps the most important thing on our current information management agendas.
Embrace the disruptive forces
Businesses today depend on the smart synthesis of information stored in document repositories, image stores, data warehouses and even video libraries. Without ready access, high confidence and the ability to collaborate on all this input, they simply cannot develop products and services, which ultimately, cannot make money as effectively as their competitors.
Your job, therefore, is to expedite these tasks by not only intelligently orchestrating the technology pieces you already use, but by intelligently accommodating and exploiting recent disruptors like the following:
Cloud computing, which by offloading and facilitating much of your administrative heavy-lifting, can change the economics and efficiencies of your development, hosting and management operations.
Mobility, which can extend your applications and processes to involve people regardless of their location.
Social media and collaboration tools, which can extend the reach of communication inside and outside of your organization -- and in a way that evokes the familiar services we use at home.
Whether you like them or understand them, these are the realities of today's information management landscape and you are well served to embrace them sooner rather than later.
Follow the unifying threads
The good news is that, although these disruptors encompass multiple technologies, several unifying threads can bring order to the apparent mess. The most notable are the following:
Governance, which is steeped in applying controls to the way information is labeled, accessed, protected, shared, disposed of and audited.
Process, which allows your people to work better by eliminating unnecessary procedures, removing operational bottlenecks and improving tracking and reporting.
Regardless of platform, location, media type or communication channel, these essential practices apply to every information stack we encounter. As such, they must occupy a top slot on your agenda -- and to really do it right, you must internalize how they affect the disruptive forces outlined above as well as your existing information management responsibilities.