Records Managers Don’t Understand IT

Records managers are responsible for the storage of corporate records. Traditionally, they store lots of paper documents, and ensure those records are kept for appropriate periods of time before being destroyed. Perhaps their most important trade organization is ARMA International.

Nowadays, most records are kept in electronic form. Unfortunately, most records managers today don’t have much knowledge of IT. They need to learn about it. People who have a strong background in both records management and IT are rare. If you’re one of the few who have these combined skills, you’ll likely start to see an increasing number of well-paying job offers.

Or, if you’re OK with days of infamy, contention, and scorn, we may have a position for you at Ferris Research.

David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Hi David,

    I agree that too many records managers don’t have much knowledge of IT – then again, how many IT professionals have a strong understanding and appreciation of effective information management beyond hardware and software provisioning?

    It is something that a number of us are working on, including those of us who are members of ARMA International. A quibble, however: ARMA International has been its formal name for some time, and before that it was the Association of Records Managers and Administrators.

    Yours with one foot in each camp,

    Jesse Wilkins

  2. Patrick
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    One further quibble. ARMA International is technically not a “trade organization”; it is a professional association. ARMA is an organization of individual professional members. While the association certainly welcomes members who work for the supplier community, we welcome them as individual professional members.

    I think you would be surprised at the growing technical acumen of ARMA’s membership. While there are certainly a large number of “traditional” paper records managers, most of us have to address electronic records in some fashion. And honestly, the technical aspect of that is really not that overwhelming.

    It certainly does not hurt to be conversant with IT-speak, but I would suggest that the ability to create business requirements is far more important. To be sure, being able to answer the technologist’s question about format or security or retention media does not hurt, but I would expect that a well-crafted set of business and user requirements, with very high level technical requirements, would be sufficient to meet the needs of most IT / Records Management projects.

    My daily job involves a continual string of conversations with IT and Legal. I have to speak both languages. I prefer to see myself as their translator.

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