Conversations about digital information management and digital disposal July 22, 2014 No Comments

Chatting with a Shopkeeper

Peter and I like to get out and talk to people, to get a sense of how information is genuinely being managed out in different business environments.

Recently we have had conversations about digital information management and disposal with a group of people who regularly work on digital business operations with many different organisations.

We have also recently discussed digital disposal with the excellent members of State Records’ Digital Records Advisory Group.

Here are some of the key observations that we have taken from these conversations.

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IM FAQs – Office 365, social media monitoring, managing digital photos, voice recordings and more July 9, 2014 No Comments

Each week the Government Recordkeeping team at State Records answers dozens of enquiries about all aspects of government information management.

Some of the digital information management questions we have answered lately include:

  • We want to use Office 365 – is it a problem under the State Records Act that corporate information will be stored out of NSW if we do this?
  • What issues do we need to consider when assessing software to manage our digital photos?
  • I am always being asked to justify the benefit of information management. What should I say?
  • What kind of information should I manage out of my social media monitoring tool?
  • Are voice recordings records? If so, how long am I supposed to keep them for?
  • What is the legal status of our corporate Yammer account – is it subject to GIPA, for instance?

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Strategies for managing social media information #smday July 1, 2014 No Comments

delete. Image by M i x y on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Social media is a tool that can connect government services directly with community needs.

Business models are shifting fundamentally and social media platforms are becoming increasingly significant business environments for all sorts of government operations.

As this transition occurs, we need to ensure that government operations continue to have the information they need to support them.

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Systems are episodes in the life of information June 24, 2014 No Comments

Simpsons 500th Episode Marathon - Professor FrinkOne of the issues we are talking to agencies a lot about at the moment is information longevity, primarily the fact that an awful lot of business information will need to outlive the system it is part of.

This concept however, still does not have significant traction or understanding.

In most business environments, systems or services are still regularly regarded as primary, and information is not understood as the constant that will need to be sustained through system or service change and evolution. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: Doug Kline

NARA’s summary of records management automation approaches June 20, 2014 No Comments

labyrinthine circuit board linesI have previously blogged about the US National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) approach to cloud email. NARA has issued a paper which surveys the available strategies for improving records capture through automation. It highlights the advantages, the maturity, and the risks and drawbacks of these approaches.

Continuing in the theme of drawing on good work being done elsewhere, this post is a quick summary of the five strategies to automation which they discuss in the paper. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: quapan

Deep Time – perspectives on managing long term value digital information June 11, 2014 2 Comments

Toxic HazardJune 9 was International Archives Day. Happy International Archives Day everyone!

Back in 2001, physicist and science fiction writer Gregory Benford wrote a book called Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates across Millennia. In it he asked questions like, in one million years time, what information will we need to leave to the future inhabitants of Earth?

These types of questions are genuinely being asked today by bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Waste Safety Standards Committee. This committee sets the program of work and approves drafts of international safety standards for radioactive waste management and disposal.

Radioactive waste is generally buried. For long-lived forms of waste, it will take up to one million years for the level of hazard posed by this buried waste to be fully extinguished.

A challenge then for groups like the International Waste Safety Standards Committee is to determine the best means to protect future generations by warning them where radioactive material is buried. They genuinely need to determine how to keep information accessible and meaningful over timescales of one million plus years.

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photo by: eek the cat

Managing information in collaborative tools – 10 tips to consider when implementing SharePoint OOTB June 5, 2014 1 Comment

The following guest post has been written by Janet Villata from Austrade.

It summarises the excellent presentation she gave in May at the State Records EDRMS Implementers Group meeting.

Janet’s Information Practice and Governance team at Austrade has recently been involved in assessments of the recordkeeping functionality of SharePoint 2013 out of the box (OOTB).

Austrade has used SharePoint since 2006 and now uses SharePoint 2013 across the organisation. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: goatling

Ants and archives and leveraging expertise for strategic information management #IAM_2014 May 30, 2014 1 Comment

AntThis week to celebrate Information Awareness Month, we have done a series of posts on emerging digital information management challenges, such as digital business transitions, digital disposal, social media management and cloud email.

In the last of our IAM posts however, we are not looking forward to see what is coming but are instead looking back to remind ourselves about some core information management fundamentals. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: jasonbolonski

Cloud email – what’s happening with the information? #IAM_2014 May 29, 2014 No Comments

A trumpet's flareEmail has become a ubiquitous business tool in the last 20 years. It has become the default tool for purposes too numerous to list: announcements, distributing documents, sales and customer service interactions, among other uses. Email’s versatility means it is used in all areas of an organisation’s business, which means that it may hold information about any aspect of an organisation. It’s also increasingly a part of the daily life of private citizens: in Denmark, the e-Government strategy mandates that all citizens are to have digital post boxes by November 2014.

In our experience, organisations have had ineffective email management strategies which have led to the accumulation of large volumes of email in email archives and servers. While tools have been developed to classify email within archives for accessibility and e-discovery purposes, we have yet to hear of an example of an organisation which has been able to conduct automated, analytical and value-appropriate destruction of email from its email servers or email archives. Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: wolfpix

How does information retention and disposal work in social media environments? #IAM_2014 May 28, 2014 No Comments

Can You Etch It - Social media refrigerator magnets - Laser engraved

In our next post to celebrate Information Awareness Month, we are again looking at social media.

As information professionals, we need to respond to the fact that a lot of key business operations are moving to social media technologies.  Read the rest of this entry »