“This Standard sets forth mandatory baseline functional requirements and requirements for classified marking, access control, and other processes, and identifies non- mandatory features deemed desirable for Records Management Application (RMA) software,” says the DoD Directive 5015.02 Department of Defense Records Management Program, dated April 25, 2007.
Why is certification so important for Record Management (RM) software and what does that mean to other companies/agencies outside of the Department of Defense? I had the pleasure of sitting down with two Alfrescans, Laurence Hart, Content Management Strategist, and Bill Goodson, VP of Public Sector, to discuss just that.
Jean: Welcome gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. As you are well aware of, Alfresco just launched our new Records Management solution, making it easier for Records Managers to do their job. Not only are we making things easier, we also became DoD5015.02 certified. First, can you tell me how important this is to the US Federal Government?
Bill: The Department of Defense has been looking for better ways to better manage their mission critical records across all branches of the military. The DoD 5015.02 certification provides a framework that supports collaboration of the records both at the agency level and to the war fighter in the field. The fact that Alfresco is built on an open source platform allows both DoD and Civilian agencies to provide a cost effective way to tailor their needs to their specific mission requirements.
Laurence: Having Alfresco’s new Records Management certified compliant with the DoD 5015.02 standard is an important achievement for Alfresco. It shows our continued commitment to the Federal Government by making it easier for Federal agencies to be compliant with the latest NARA directives. Alfresco’s new approach of putting the power of records automation into the hands of the Records Managers will help Federal agencies to confidently meet their regulatory needs.
Jean: The US Federal Government is not the only entity that manages records. We see records in all industries. Stating that Alfresco is DoD5015.02 certified, how does that translate to other commercial corporations?
Bill: Commercial organizations like the government community are looking for best practices that they can apply to their business. The DoD 5015.02 certification and testing required for the Department of Defense gives the commercial organizations confidence that leveraging Alfresco’s records management has met the rigors of NARA’s directives and the security required by the DoD community.
Laurence: Commercial organizations will look at the DoD 5015.02 certification and be confident that Alfresco will meet their compliance needs. The level of detail needed by commercial compliance efforts varies widely, from simple compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley to the more in-depth rules and regulations HIPAA. While commercial entities may not need the full depth of features required by the DoD 5015.02 standard, they can feel confident that by deploying Alfresco their requirements can be reliably met.
Jean: There are some people that think DoD5015.2 certification is obsolete and a failed attempt to put any types of requirements into the RM space. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Bill: A common set of standards and framework such as the DoD5015.02 certification is the key for ensuring a consistent, reliable environment for records management. The value of the records is the ability to access, manage and track the records. DoD 5015.02 certification provides a rigorous test for these capabilities for all users.
Laurence: Until there is another standard that is widely accepted in the U.S., it is a moot point. Compliance is not something with which people feel comfortable gambling . Organizations want absolute certainty that their Retention and Records Management needs are being met reliably 100% of the time. Using a solution that meets the DoD 5015.02 standard gives organizations that certainty.
Jean: Now let’s look forward. Do you think DoD5015.2 certification is going to matter a year from now? 5 years from now?
Bill: In the next year or two DoD 5015.02 certification will be very relevant. Five years ago tablets did not exist or smart phones with the capabilities they have today. These new devices and the web are creating an explosion in content creation which is affecting the way we manage records. This evolution of technology will change the way we look at records management and expect the certification process as we know it today will evolve to incorporate and embrace the way we manage records.
Laurence: In one year, yes. In five years, not likely. Historically, the primary problem with Records Management solutions has been that they are too hard to successfully deploy. While enabled by solution vendors, the fault actually lies in the complexity organizations impose upon the process. Records Management, as it stands today, is to onerous for most Records Managers to successfully tackle on their own. The solution proposed by most software vendors has been to share the burden of declaring records with the content creators. The creators typically view Records declaration as what it is, a burden. People eventually reject the additional work, adoption drops, and before long, the system is only capturing a fraction of the required records. So yes, DoD 5015.02 is not a silver bullet for Records Management. Given that change comes slowly to the Records Management space, the standard will be relevant for years to come, even if those years are numbered.
Thank you both for taking the time to talk about DoD5015.2 certification and how it affects RM and how record managers do their job.
Content.gov, the largest Alfresco government event is happening on January 29th, in Washington, DC. We have amazing speakers lined up for this year’s event. Kimberly Hancher, CIO of EEOC, will speak on how the EEOC is leveraging open source. Jill Singer, Former CIO of CIA, will discuss transparency and collaboration. Michael Ward, Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, will talk about the implementation of Alfresco and Brian Campo will talk about how the Joint Chief’s are leveraging Alfresco for Records Management.We will also have our partners, Armedia, Micro Strategies and Crafter Software talk about their solutions in the Federal Government space. This is one event you do not want to miss out on!
Tickets are limited so register now! http://www.alfresco.com/events/contentgov-2014