Farming and the Next Generation Records Manager

farmingNext Generation Records Management solutions are not technology solutions.  They are a set of innovative information lifecycle management methodologies that are enabled by the latest disruptive technologies.

And records management is not a responsibility that someone is assigned or a role that someone fills.  It is a professional discipline that requires years of training and experience.

Records managers have always provided the same vital service. We manage information effectively through its entire lifecycle: creation, distribution, use, maintenance and disposition.  That hasn’t changed for centuries.  What has changed is the tools that we have used to do our jobs.

My father-in-law is a farmer on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.  He has worked the same 110 acres my wife grew up on for nearly 50 years.  He grows corn, soy beans, and an assortment of other crops depending on soil conditions, market demand and some sort of ancient voodoo non-farmers like me will never fully understand.

The tools my father-in-law has used over the last four or five decades have gone through amazing evolution.  From diesel-powered tractors and, yes, even horse-drawn plows to satellite imagery, global positioning systems, and autonomous irrigation devices.

Just as he was in the early 70s, my father-in-law is still a farmer. That hasn’t changed.  But now, thanks to the new farming methodologies that have been enabled by innovative new technologies, he is able to grow far more crops and produce much bigger, healthier yields than he ever thought imaginable – all while requiring a mere fraction of the manpower he once employed.

Records management is no different.  There are amazing new technologies available that will help us become infinitely better at our jobs.  Artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain, and the cloud all present endless possibilities. It is simply incumbent on us as records management professionals to develop the innovative new information lifecycle management methodologies that these new technologies enable.

[Note: With this in mind, I can’t help but recommend this article from our friends at Millican and Associates.  This records management framework provides a unique platform from which truly innovative information lifecycle management methodologies can be created.  It is certainly not the only viable framework out there, but it is one of the best I’ve seen to date.]


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