Monday, October 3, 2011

The beauty of records management

When SharePoint first came out, ECM (enterprise content management) was a big driver for adoption. Users were now able to organize emails, PDFs, Word files and all manner of content. SharePoint 2010 introduced metadata, allowing users to tag content so it could be found again from massively growing content lists and libraries.
Now, organizations want to understand WHY they save documents, and HOW LONG should they be kept. Enter the records managers. I had an interesting interview with ARRAY's Mike Miller on the topic, and today I got a chance to speak with Colligo Networks' Barry Jinks on the subject. The company is introducing Colligo Briefcase, for browsing, viewing and storing SharePoint content on tablets (iPads for now, Windows-based tablets down the road, Jinks said), and Colligo Email Manager and Contributor Pro software. You can read about those here.
Jinks was talking about the expanding definition of records, and how everyone in a organization is creating records all the time. About how, in fact, EVERYTHING -- a blog post, a Wiki entry, an email attachment, even a TWEET -- is a record. So in-place records management becomes critical, and users must be empowered and trained to use SharePoint to choose content types, and create metadata tags at the time the document is created. SharePoint, he said, offers centrally managed compliance, but the hard part is getting users to do it. "The value of applying metadata is seen in search," he said, "so they get why they're doing it." And the organization gets the value of retention policies that work.
-- David

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