2006-JULY: The Cavalry has, or is arriving on the Records and Information Management – RIM Scene after TWENTY FIVE – 25 years of Digital Amnesia

Since the introduction of the IBM compatible PC and DOS in 1981 it is claimed by many in the Records Management, Archive and History field that the history records of the past twenty five years has or will be lost due to the Digital Amnesia brought on by the introduction of the IBM compatible PC and the DOS operating system.

Have times changed?

Back in April 2003 I wrote an article entitled – Is records management to be the next new buzzword? available @ Is records management to be the next new buzzword? in which I stated – If you searched Gartner Inc’s Research WWW site using the term records management in March 2003 you would have received 200 hits.

In May 2006 and carrying out the same search I located 3100 Gartner Research documents ( Includes Archived Documents ) using Records Management as the search term. Has Records and Information Management – RIM increased in importance by this degree or 15.5 times in three (3) years?

It would appear so, and the person leading the Cavalry charge is none other than Colonel William Henry [ Bill ] Gates III.


Does this mean that the world of Records and Information Management is about to hit the BIG TIME?

I believe so!

Is Microsoft – MS attempting to right the wrongs of the past TWENTY FIVE – 25 years of Digital Amnesia?

Maybe, but more likely the reason is the forecast growth of RIM or more specifically what the IT industry refers to as Enterprise Content Management – ECM of between 10.7 to 12.8% compound annual growth rate from 2005 through 2010.

The report states – Organizations are increasing investments to manage content as an enterprise asset that can be used across multiple business units or segments.

Another reason is – If you read all the postings on the MS Blog on RIM NOW SHUT DOWN one of the things they highlight is DOLLARS and I mean big $ numbers e.g. $2.8 Billion US Dollars!

The MS blog states:

No, I’m not quoting the Austin Power’s villain Dr. Evil… I’m sharing a pretty surprising figure: This is the 2007 projected budget for electronic discovery services within the USA.

You might think I’m joking, but this is real data from the 2005 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey. “How the heck can it cost that much?” you might ask.

There are a lot of reasons, but fundamentally it’s related to one simple problem: we keep too much stuff!

MS Blog on RIM

To obtain an understanding of where MS are going with ECM have a look at the 2005 White Paper located @ NOW SHUT DOWN  and keep an eye on their blog site as more is to be unveiled.

Reading this document will assure you that MS is deadly serious in making RIM or is that ECM a money spinner with the release of Office 2007.

The four areas that MS are addressing in the ECM area of the new product Office 2007 are:

1. Document Management

2. Records Management

3. Web Content Management

4. Forms Management

MS is not alone in their charge for the RIM – ECM installations around the world. Other organisations from the big end of town have also joined and they include IBM, Xerox, and Xerox plus may others.

Watch the RIM & ECM space out there in corporate and government land as many more organisations in the IT area are corralling their horses and getting ready to also join the charge.

As I have said before and I quote – Today is the most exciting time to be involved in this the most critical of resources the FOURTH Factor in the Factors of production – INFORMATION.

Why not join the MS wave along with Colonel William Henry (Bill) Gates III, hang five and get relaxed as this new phase for RIM will consume all of us, for good or evil!

Happy RIMing,

Laurie Varendorff ARMA

The Author

Laurie Varendorff, ARMA, a former RMAA Western Australia Branch president & national director, has been involved in records management and the micrographic industry for 40 years.

Laurie has his own microfilm equipment sales & support organisation – Digital Microfilm Equipment – DME – and a – records & information management – RIM – consulting & training business – The Varendorff Consultancy – TVC – located near Perth, Western Australia, & has tutored & written course material in recordkeeping & archival storage & preservation for Perth’s Edith Cowan University – ECU.

You can contact Laurie Varendorff @ email @ Laurie Varendorff ARMA; or Phone: Australia @ 0417 094 147 – International @ +61 417 094 147 at Digital Microfilm Equipment – DME.

The author, Laurie Varendorff gives permission for the redistribution or republishing of this article by individuals and non-profit professional organisations without cost based on the condition that he as well as the URL of the article are recognised at the introduction of the article when redistributed or republished.

SPECIAL NOTE: Use of this article by publishers, commercial, government, or educational organisations requires a financial agreement to be negotiated with Laurie as the copyright holder for this work.