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FCW : August 30, 2016
SPONSORED REPORT A t this point, just a few months shy of the end of year deadline to comply with NARA’s 2016 mandate for ensuring all e-mail records are in an accessible electronic format, it may be tempting for agency leaders to take a breather before moving on to the 2019 mandate. The next NARA mandate requires managing all permanent records electronically. While that is a little more than three years away, it would be a mistake to wait. The most important reasons have to do with timing and budget. If you don’t develop a roadmap and do the work in stages, it will be a much more onerous process. The phased approach includes conducting an inventory of the type of data your agency collects and taking the “low hanging fruit” approach. Learn what works and what doesn’t and bring those lessons forward to the next phase. Budgeting is also a real concern. By waiting until 2018, for example, an agency would have to find enough money to make all changes, despite the fact the mandate is technically unfunded. By taking a multiyear approach, agencies can budget for the project over three years. With enough time, agencies can also be smarter about how they budget for the required changes. “Procuring a technology platform like Alfresco, for example, often comes out of a different budget than the solutions that would go on top of it, such as a records management solution,” says Tara Combs, a records management solution specialist at Alfresco. “Often, the technology platform is harder to get budget for and solutions are easier, so it makes sense to think about how to most effectively budget for everything you need.” There are other ways agencies can ease the path toward meeting the 2019 mandate. One important step is to develop governance around information management. Often confused with records management, information governance is a set of broad, strategic initiatives that incorporate all electronic information. Developing effective information governance requires thinking about the information within your agency, how it is defined, and where the information sources are located. Only then can your agency’s records manager get down to the more granular records management level. It’s also important to look beyond the records management itself. By taking a broader look, it’s easy to see records management itself can be the first step toward more widespread agency operational improvements. A records management solution helps agencies add additional capabilities to create a more usable, economical, modern, open, full-featured system. This expanded system facilitates everything from collaboration with discussion threads to full mobility. “If you take a step back, you can see this is an opportunity to create a modern enterprise system that replaces older, stovepiped systems,” says Mannix Litonjua, Chief Operating Officer of Armedia, whose ArkCase case management system helps agencies manage records. “By consolidating and modernizing everything on one platform, you will have created a more efficient, cost-effective system that takes advantages of economies of scale.” Finally, don’t view a records management solution or platform as a set it and forget it type of application. While it will help meet the 2019 mandate, it will also help create changes in the work environment you’ ll need to address to ensure the solution will be fully successful. “Change is hard,” says Combs. “By providing the right training and showing employees that it improves their quality of work life, you’ ll succeed.” The Roadmap to E-Records To learn more, visit: alfresco.com and armedia.com shutterstock.com
August 15, 2016
September 15, 2016