Leverage ARMA for trAnsfoRMAtion!

By: In: Information Management On: Sep 25, 2015
Leverage ARMA for trAnsfoRMAtion!

I’m a word puzzle fanatic who rarely misses Will Shortz’s Weekend Edition Puzzle segment Sunday mornings on NPR. Therefore, I am really excited (in an admittedly nerdy way!) that nestled within the word “transformation” we can find ARMA. I take this as a clue that we need to leverage this year’s Conference to lean into and embrace the changes we must make to meet our employers’ changing expectations of us as RIM professionals.

My goal as Iron Mountain’s Thought Leadership manager is to be your guide in understanding new attitudes and pressures about records and information management and governance. As such, Iron Mountain recently engaged 2 global research organizations to help us understand the role of the next generation information management professional: AIIM and Coleman Parkes.

What we found is not surprising: Coleman Parkes discovered that most senior leaders don’t know what you really do and, conversely, you don’t really know what your senior leaders expect of you. The AIIM research paper “What Will It Take To Be A NextGen Info Pro?” tells us very clearly that you’re expected 1) to understand what it takes to mine value from your organization’s information – to make it work to your advantage, 2) to know what must happen to protect and secure your information, and 3) to think and act strategically.

Yet, these have not been your primary areas of focus. For years RIM staff has been arduously focused on risk mitigation: doing all the things to satisfy regulator, shareholder, customer, and employee records requirements, and to minimize discovery damages. In addition, you’ve been tackling cost reduction through vendor consolidation, defensible disposition, imaging programs, and more.

But now, with the tremendous surge in data analytics that depend on both big data pools and your own internal “wide” data (IDC projects nearly $9 billion spent on analytics in 3 years from now), it is imperative that you look at how you might need to modify the information life cycle to accommodate value – and how you’ll need to balance risk with reward by managing information as both a liability and an asset.

There isn’t a day that passes without some report of a data breach in any size organization. In fact, Lord West, the UK’s cybersecurity advisor, estimates that 90% of organizations, public and private, have experienced a data breach, whether they know it or not. You need to help identify high impact data repositories and lead the charge for business units and IT to get rid of what you don’t need to lessen potential damage.

Lastly, strategy.   At a Law Firm panel that I moderated last week, I heard that traditional eDiscovery search activities are being superseded by data informatics. We don’t want the same to happen with RIM staff. So, Info Pros must act strategically and position themselves between business units, data analysts, security, privacy and IT (which means you have to be aware of new technology options). This is a new twist – your role as a consultant and information broker to create a comprehensive digital strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals.

Please join me in a 30 minute session during which we’ll explore how to fill in some of the pieces of the next generation information management professional puzzle.

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About the author

Sue Trombley

Sue Trombley, Managing Director of Thought Leadership at Iron Mountain, has more than 25 years of information governance consulting experience. Prior to her current role, Trombley led Iron Mountain’s Consulting group responsible for business development, managing a team of subject matter experts, and running large engagements. Trombley holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and recently was certified as an Information Government Professional. She sits on the AIIM Board, the University of Texas at Austin of School of Information Advisory Council, and is President of the Boston ARMA Chapter. She is Iron Mountain’s representative on the newly formed Information Governance Initiative and is frequent speaker at association events.