Monday, April 17, 2006

ECM Canada Style



Well more glamour in the world of ECM. Last week I helped out at another of these CIO events in Toronto. The location was incredible - The Canoe restaurant on the 54th Floor of the Dominion building. And Riesling from the Niagra Falls region was very nice indeed.

The theme of the conversation again focused immeditaely on compliancy and the need to manage all the business records produced within an enterprise. So no big suprises there. But some of the areas of discussion that had not come up at the other events were:

  • Managing IM & Voicemails as business records
  • Difficulty in getting funding for ECM projects
  • Balancing between the need to collaborate and the need to restrict access to content
  • Encryption of Content

One of the areas of discussion that most interested me was around destruction of emails. A number of those present had instigated policies that automatically destroyed emails after 90 days. This is not an uncommon policy, but I am very torn as to wether it is a good policy.The way I see it is that eMail is running out of control and I can completely understand why people would go down this path, but..... Are you in the process destroying business records illegally? Have you really destroyed all copies of the email - or are there copies floating around the network or hard drives that you are unaware of? I would not recommend this approach to email management unless there was an accompanying RM or Retention policy enforced in parrallel.

The other area of interest is IM and Voicemails - at the end of the day they are both sets of electronic data bundles that are defacto business records. Yet most people seem to assume that they do not need to be managed. In fairness little work has been done around this topic, but surely its about time that technology vendors and bodies such as ARMA & AIIM started working on solutions?

On the topic of getting funding for ECM projects, I agree its very hard; but then again I don't think you should be getting funding for ECM projects. But you should be looking for funding for projects that add value to your business, ECM is simply a tool used in this solution process.

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