I’ve been ranting on and off for a while that Information Management has failed because we haven’t met the needs of the user. This is leaving the market open for the Cloud vendors to try and disrupt the Content Management market.
What I haven’t delved into is that the primary reason we have been failing is also the key to the potential success of the Cloud vendors…Records Management.
Been There, Done That
If you’ve ever been on a Records Management project, you know the routine. There are lots of rules to setup and test. Users have to be trained how to properly classify a document and coached on why this is a good thing.
What invariably happens is that the project timeline stretches as the complexities of setting-up a full-blown Records Management system on top of implementing key business processes come to light. The Records Managers seem to always want more granularity and the actual users of the system want their lives to get easier and not more complicated.
In the end, all sides fail.
What does work is focusing on the business problem and agreeing to not delete any content until the next phase which will roll out Records Management functionality. Lucky for the end-users of the system, that phase usually gets cut to save money.
End the Misery
Records Management, at least as it is done in the United States, is a painful process that seems to live to make the lives of everyone involved harder. The DoD 5015.2 “standard” is criticized by many as being too complex, and outdated. Some past advocates are even voicing opposition to the standard as a whole.
I agree with those opinions. I strongly believe that the complexity of implementing a system designed for DoD 5015.2 easily triples the chance that your Information Management project will fail. Even when many of the requirements are ignored, it is too burdensome to utilize.
If we ever want to succeed, we need a new approach.
Removing the “Work”
Autocategorization becomes viable and approachable
This is the key that will change things. Autocategorization can, with proper setup, correctly classify a majority of documents. The tools can also learn from documents to become more accurate in making their determinations.
These tools can also do this without impacting the people creating and editing the documents.
Think of a Records strategy that didn’t depend on everyone in the organization doing a little extra work to classify a document. Think of a Records Strategy that works even when a document is saved in the “wrong” place. Think of a Records Strategy that already has all your content categorized and protected so that an eDiscovery request can be met in days.
It is possible. It will just take people looking in from the outside to make it work.
This is where the Cloud vendors come into play. They have a desire to penetrate the Enterprise market. They have a strong focus on keeping the User Experience clean and simple in order to boost adoption. They aren’t bound by all the preconceived notions by which older vendors are bound.
It is time to step back from the huge list of functional requirements and get back to the core business requirements.