I'm curious if anyone else was somewhat bothered by this survey. I have
no problem with it, however it really isn't a survey of "records
management trends", it's a survey of trends in the deployment and usage
of records management related technologies. In my opinion, there is a
big difference between the two. This really strikes me more as a
marketing survey relating to records management technologies. My sense
is that purveyors of such technologies are the audience that will really
benefit from its results (and I have no problem with that whatsoever).
However, it does raise some issues.
One of the common statements I've seen on this listserv is that a given
technological tool "doesn't do records management" or "its not records
management". If one can achieve records management goals for one's
organization utilizing a tool not identified as a "records management
tool" (a fairly limiting definition), isn't that "records management"?
Records management, in my mind, is defined by a body of theory and
practice which enables one to utilize the resources at hand to achieve
records management goals, with some of those resources including
specific records management technologies, and some not including those
technologies. Its not necessarily defined by the acquisition and
deployment of specific records management products and services,
although such products and services may assist one in achieving those
goals. In fact, I think the next few years will see the increasing use
of non-RIM tools being used to achieve records management goals, due to
Just a bone I've had to pick for some time, which this otherwise totally
fine survey happened to bring up in my mind. I think if you define
records management as the acquisition and deployment of specific
products and services, you are looking more like an IT application shop,
and we all know how volatile those can be. It's a very limiting
definition of the profession, as well as undermining what I think should
be a long range goal of all records management operations: stability.
This survey seems to reinforce the perception of a profession defined
primarily by its tools, and not its theory or practice.
Just sayin' - not trying to jump on ARMA's or anyone else's case.
Dwight Wallis, CRM
Multnomah County Records Management Program
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Gresham, OR 97233
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