What we need in 2013 vs. what the industry thinks we need!
At the start of each year, it’s customary for the oracles to gaze into their crystal balls, and pronounce their 5 (or 10) technology predictions that become the want list for the coming year. Big data, apps for everything, advanced analytics, mobile computing, cloud this, cloud that, green computing, whatever. We then all sit back and watch IT budgets flow towards these technologies. And at the end of each year we look back and wonder whether our industry has made any significant progress towards effective information management.
I confess that we want many of these technologies too, but if we are going to get value, there’s some ground work we need to do first to ensure a return on investment. So here is my take on what we need for 2013:
Cross functional training
All staff who work in IM need to be able to see the whole picture and understand where IT, records management, and business analysis meet. We need a rigorous program of cross training, i.e. records management skills for programmers, database skills for RM consultants etc. We can’t build better systems if our staff can’t apply their specialist knowledge because they lack context.
Review Metadata Standards
We need to clean up our content. This means documenting and standardising our metadata values, especially if they haven’t had a major overhaul for several years. Once this is done, we will be ready to create new systems and improve our existing systems.
BTW a.k.a.® is a good tool for doing this.
Digital transition and the elimination of paper filing is well underway. However putting active documents into electronic folders just doesn’t work when the process stakeholders require many different views of the records. We need to analyse our information processes to make sure that we’ve covered all of our bases for all stakeholders with respect to digitization.
Again a.k.a.® is a good tool to support this process.
Automated metadata capture
Goes with above. Working smarter not harder. We need to build metadata models that facilitate the capture of metadata so we don’t have to spend hours filling in fields. But if we do have to fill in fields, we would like to be able to multi tag, bulk edit, or whatever.
So we need eCM systems with flexible architectures and great usability tool that enable us to achieve this. At Synercon we’re going to trial a few in 2013 for managing specific business processes.
Not all documents we work with will be tagged and classified, and we don’t have the time to deal with piles of legacy data. Therefore we need better search tools. Not just search engines, but search tools like thesauri and synonym rings that connect terms and their variants together. So we need to also expand our business thesaurus to enable more effective searching.
Using a.k.a.® we can produce different XML versions of the thesaurus and use these to trial a variety of different search engines.
What I have described is not rocket science. You could refer to it as information science.
It’s not going to cost an arm and a leg , either but if we do it well, we’ll all be better placed to take advantage of some of the incredible technologies available to us.