Last week, Alfresco was at the 2014 AIIM Conference in lovely Orlando, Florida. We were there talking about the Future of Work, not just in the abstract, but achieving it in today’s workplace. John Newton, one of our founders and CTO, hosted a roundtable discussion on the topic and gave an extremely energetic talk to an overflowing room.
While attending AIIM every year seems excessive for some, I find it is very useful in gauging the evolving attitudes across the industry. While many technology events are overly optimistic about the future of technology, AIIM has drawn many of those concerned with the compliance side of the equation. As a result, all new technology is viewed with a measured amount of skepticism.
A large change that I’ve observed over the years is the shift regarding the cloud. Two years ago, just about every Records Manager in attendance was discussing and sharing ways to keep the cloud out of their organization. This year, everyone acknowledged the reality of the cloud and the need for everyone to adapt.
This is not to say that they all thought the cloud was great. They simply see the cloud already permeating their organizations. That leaves them with a choice to either insure proper governance is applied or to let the cloud ecosystem grow wild. There is obvious reluctance to embrace the cloud, but the reality of the cloud was shared in session after session.
Everyone shared tips about performing due diligence, checking security, understanding privacy rules of different countries, and other details that are not that much different from any acquisition process. There was very little FUD shared about the cloud which was a pleasant surprise. The biggest issue raised was the possible creation of another silo of content but that has been a common concern in the industry for decades.
Even with all this positive direction on the cloud-front, it was not the biggest shift at the AIIM Conference.
The Future in Information Governance
The big take-away from the AIIM Conference was the shift to Information Governance. Over the years, Records Management has been a difficult proposition for people to sell within their organization. People don’t want to spend time to declare records and they don’t want to spend money on a system that is not perceived as adding to the bottom line.
Information Governance changes the baseline for the compliance discussion. While some people merely swap the term Records Management with Information Governance that is far from the depth of the change. Information Governance covers the entire lifecycle of all information, content and data. It isn’t about retention and disposition, but about protection and findability.
This transition from focusing on a piece of content’s business value and not on the risk of keeping the content too long is a well received change. In today’s Information Age, we need to start managing information as an asset and prioritize it as such.
Part of the move was also on display as there was a lot of discussion on how to automate the categorization of information. As every piece of information should be protected as long as it has business value, different types of information will have different lifespans. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was there sharing their views and bluntly asking for industry advice on how to automate this process. The general opinion of the speakers was that auto-classification of information is the future.
Where you at AIIM? What did you see there that caught you eye?