What is records management? Simply put, records management exists to ensure that valuable information is properly created, stored, maintained and disposed of so that your organization is in regulatory and legal compliance.
But let’s be real: there’s nothing simple about records management.
Experienced managers spend countless hours sorting and classifying documents and other pieces of content. Their job is complicated, confusing, far from fool-proof, and face it – a lot of times, things get missed.
As the scope of records management extends beyond internal systems to cloud, social and mobile applications, the situation has become even more complex. With content stored in multiple repositories across the business – such as file shares, e-mail, CRM and other systems – managing, searching and accessing critical records is a real challenge.
One of the main challenges is traditional records management systems themselves. Not only are they difficult for end users to operate, most are also expensive to extend to other environments.
At the same time, the demands on records retention, disposal and management have increased over recent years, making it critical for compliance across more and more processes. The challenge is how to keep error levels low, which has led many organizations to automate the process so that metadata is applied in a consistent and uniform way.
Embedding records declaration within a content management system business process – subject to strict governance rules – keeps things simple and compliant.
Automated declaration and classification of records can greatly simplify the RM process and help with consistency and regulatory compliance. A recent study by global independent researcher AIIM discovered that, while there was initial skepticism around the technology’s capabilities, more and more organizations are turning to automated classification.
AIIM showed that while only 14% of organizations are currently using automated declaration/classification, some 65% plan to use the technology in the near future. Of those already using it, only 5% say they are disappointed with its accuracy. The vast majority of users report that it’s the same or better than expected.
Trouble in the Cloud
Cloud technology is only becoming more popular, and as more and more software vendors offer cloud versions of their applications and cloud file-sharing and collaboration environments expand, more content will reside in the cloud in a non-compliant way.
Including content held within cloud repositories and applying governance policies to traditional records management systems can be difficult and expensive. In the same AIIM study, when asked about their concerns about content being stored in the cloud, over 35% responded that it is harder to apply information governance and security rules to content in this environment.
Organizations must include cloud services in their RM policies and procedure – just like any other information repository – while keeping it easy for users to adopt.
Think social media doesn’t count when it comes to compliance? Wrong! Blogs, tweets and other social network posts must be considered in the same way as any other content and should all be included in a company’s records disposal, storage and records retention policy and procedures.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
The AIIM study found that 37% of organizations feel they should treat social content as records, but aren’t – and only 15% say they save some of the content, if not all.
Keeping an organization’s records management process simple enough for users to adopt, while effective enough to ensure compliance consistently across all channels isn’t easy. But there are tools available today that can automate and help simplify some of the process.
Remember: if there are areas within your business that are non-compliant, then the whole business is non-compliant.
Want specific recommendations for making records management easier in your organization? Download the complete AIIM white paper.
The dust has settled on a great two weeks in Barcelona and Boston, the Alfresco community came together en-masse to make the events the biggest ever. As we return to our day jobs with heads full of new ideas and approaches I wanted to take a few moments out to detail how we collaborated with our speakers to deliver session slide decks on the summit.alfresco.com website this year.
The 2013 conference saw a big boost in the number of sessions and speakers. The speakers were from mixed backgrounds. Not only was there a large emphasis on hearing the stories of customers and partners this year, but also hearing from industry thought leaders including keynote speakers Jimmy Wales and Andrew McAfee.
To ensure all of the great content during the Summit would be available quickly, we set up a special Alfresco Summit site using Alfresco in the cloud and invited all of our speakers to it. Here, they could download a standard template of our branded slide deck and upload their final presentations to a designated folder we created.
When a speaker uploaded their presentation to the cloud site (or any other asset they choose to share) it was automatically synchronized with an on-premise version of Alfresco using our hybrid sync technology (available since 4.1). This site is directly connected to our Drupal Summit site via CMIS using the CMIS API and CMIS Views modules. Sound complicated? From a speakers point of view all they see is the Alfresco in the cloud folder.
If a speaker decided to revise or add to their slides, they could quickly upload a new version that triggered a synchronization process with Alfresco On-Premise which Drupal sees and displays the up-to-date version of the presentation as below:
Using Alfresco and Drupal together like this allowed us to offer attendees up-to-date slides for each session as well as any assets that the speaker wanted to share with them.
All slides for the sessions are available at http://summit.alfresco.com and we will shortly be putting the screencasts for each session on the session pages so you can experience Summit from the comfort of your own office.
Learn more about Alfresco’s web publishing solution.
“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
Drupal 7.26 and Drupal 6.30, maintenance releases which contain fixes for security vulnerabilities, are now available for download. See the Drupal 7.26 and Drupal 6.30 release notes for further information.Download Drupal 7.26
Download Drupal 6.30
Upgrading your existing Drupal 7 and 6 sites is strongly recommended. There are no new features or non-security-related bug fixes in these releases. For more information about the Drupal 7.x release series, consult the Drupal 7.0 release announcement. More information on the Drupal 6.x release series can be found in the Drupal 6.0 release announcement.Security information
We have a security announcement mailing list and a history of all security advisories, as well as an RSS feed with the most recent security advisories. We strongly advise Drupal administrators to sign up for the list.
Drupal 7 and 6 include the built-in Update Status module (renamed to Update Manager in Drupal 7), which informs you about important updates to your modules and themes.Bug reports
Drupal 7.26 and 6.30 were released in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities. Details can be found in the official security advisory:
To fix the security problem, please upgrade to either Drupal 7.26 or Drupal 6.30.Known issues
(Drupal 7 only) On sites with a very large number of unpublished nodes in the database, the Taxonomy module update function introduced in this release may take a very long time to run and consume an excessive amount of memory. A fix is being discussed in this issue.Front page news: Planet DrupalDrupal version: Drupal 6.xDrupal 7.x