It's not really the purpose of this blog to provide definitions, but let me take a stab at a couple. For even the most experienced ECM professional mixes them up. In a separate post below I argue that it hardly matters if these things are confused, but what''s the point of a blog if I can't contradict myself? The point is since publishing those posts I have had a few conversations that suggest to me that I might be a wrong, or that more clarity is needed. One suggestion (that I pretty much agree with) is that IT really needs to know the differences, but the end user does not. So here goes:
- Retention - a defined period of time for holding a piece of information
- Archive - Long term managed storage of information
- Compliancy - adherence to regulatory requirements
- Records Management - The methods and practices of managing records
There are much fuller and more substantial definitions available at the analyst sites , but a soundbite length definition that both the IT professional and the business user can grasp may be of value.
The bottom line here is that they do have overlap, but are quite different activities/definitions and one needs to understand the value and limitations of each to move forward.