By Avi Elkoni
Last week I attended the ARMA Live Conference in Washington, DC. Despite being the 60th annual ARMA conference, both ARMA and the event remain highly relevant and very well-attended, offering great content not only for Records and Information Management (RIM) practitioners but also for technologists in the field, such as myself. Here are some of my key take-away points from this year’s event:
1. Information Governance has come of age and the pace of change has increased
Information Governance (IG) is no longer the novel concept it was four years ago nor the hot buzzword it was two years ago. IG is now a concept that most RIM practitioners are recognizing and embracing. Those who have already implemented IG policies and programs to proactively classify, retain, and dispose of information before it reaches the traditional archives and repositories are excitedly telling their success stories. At the same time, everyone is coming to realize that with the advent of IG, the RIM practitioners are no longer dealing with just the tail-end of business processes. Rather, IG policies and processes impact information through its lifecycle. With this realization comes a need to change and adapt policies quicker, so that they can keep up with the business they serve.
2. Non-electronic records are finally fading away
ARMA Live 2015 was very different to what it was four and eight years ago. One of the differences is that hardly anyone seems interested in “traditional” (non-electronic) records anymore. Boxes, paper filing systems, and shredding solutions are no longer front-and-center as hot topics. When you do come across a practitioner or a vendor talking about paper or microfilm you will usually find that they are discussing ways to convert these obsolete mediums to an electronic format.
3. The lawyers are coming
Compared with previous years, I ran into many more legal professionals at ARMA this year. It seems that more corporations are seeking specialized legal advice regarding their IG and RIM policies, while others reorganize to bring their RIM staff into the General Counsel’s office. Several RIM professionals that I spoke with report that working under the GC’s umbrella has been an empowering experience and that they now find it easier to implement sound IG and RIM policies.