An interesting article landed in my Inbox this
morning. I'd like to share it with you in light of the
various discussions, debates, and diatribes that are
ongoing here.

I refer you to:

The article uses the language of the military to
identify how to parse out the things that IT leaders
should care about and focus on. I think we, as records
managers, can build upon the same lessons.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure that it really
matters whether we call things SIM or RIM or whether
we're organized in IT or Legal or on our own. What
matters is that what we do is valued and seen as a
value add by our organizations.

(And before someone calls me on the fact that I'm an
ARMA Board member and I SHOULD care about SIM or RIM,
I'll hasten to add that I am speaking to folks in
terms of what they do in their own organizations.)

Read the article and think about where you spend your
time. If you are the person responsible for records in
your organization, are you spending enough time making
strategies for managing records and information or are
you fighting the battles in the trenches?

Let me throw you an example from a meeting I was in
this morning. It is budget season. One of the
exercises that we go through each year, beyond
figuring out what we plan to spend on various things,
is an environmental scan. We get out a blank sheet of
paper and identify all the things that could influence
our budgets positively or negatively over the next
year. We document these items with our best estimates
of potential impacts so that our financial people have
a head's up if we come back to them and indicate that
something has changed and we need to revisit our
budget. So we look within the business and outside the
business to the world at large.

Among the issues that I raised (and my boss raised
from his perspective) were:

HIPAA: What if these regulations cause our business to
stop printing Social Security Numbers on documents?
Since we use SSNs to index many document types, how
will we index the documents and what will the business
impact be?

Business Ethics: With all of the hue and cry over
corporate ethics and document destruction, what
happens if the government decides that records
management is a mandatory function of businesses? What
are we doing to stay on top of this news?

Patrick Cunningham, CRM

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