spstc_logo.gifHow many of our records management processes are based on something that was relevant in a paper-based world? As the enterprise evolves, we need to start developing processes that are based on the world in which we currently live -- which, thankfully, is not paper-based. John Mancini, President of AIIM, taught us how to Think More Broadly about SharePoint: Bridging the Gap Between Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement during SharePoint Saturday.

Are You Preparing for a Future Built on Irrelevancy?

To plan for an uncertain future, Mancini says we need to take inventory of all the things that we intentionally need to forget along the way as we integrate legacy systems into the cloud-based social era. Stop thinking like it’s 1983 and start thinking about the way you actually work and what you expect from new technology.

Face it, the consumerization of IT has made technology accessible, easy to use and affordable. As a result, all your systems should incorporate these qualities, or else risk being obsolete, irrelevant and inflexible. This isn’t the first time Mancini has talked about abandoning paper-based policies in favor of a more futuristic approach towards content management, case management or information management -- and it won’t be the last -- until, well we actually start to listen to him.

Broad Approach to Records Management

But it isn’t like one day your organization will just start thinking realistically about systems of record. No, it takes a strategic, cultural approach to make it happen. Chief Information Officers must be forward-thinking to drive retention systems that not only manage information effectively, but also do it in a way that’s helpful and intuitive. We want information when we want it and we don’t want to have to change our behaviors to get it. If IBM’s Watson is any indication, natural language processing, among other variables, will affect the way we search and retain information.

So why should you, dear SharePoint user, care about systems of records and systems of engagement? Because it will influence how your business platform evolves. Either it will try to do too much poorly, or it will be able to do a lot of necessary things well. How you manage your information will determine the value of your organization now and in the future. If it's not able to keep up with changing trends, technologies and behaviors, it won't matter if any information is managed at all.