Conclusion

In theory, there are good prospects to maintain satisfactory information and records management practices. In practice, though the RCM is considered to be the most progressive model that suits the current digital records management environment, it is the Life-Cycle Model that is mostly being espoused by organizations (Flynn, 2001; Karabinos, 2015; Svard, 2014). The low diffusion of the RCM could be attributed to the fact that despite the early digitization of organizational processes, most organizations to date do not have electronic archives. This has maintained them in a paper-based environment, where digital information has had to be printed on paper for its effective management and to ensure its long-term preservation. This has been the practice for most organizations. The Life-Cycle Model also seems to be understood differently by the ECM systems vendors since it is the model they espouse in their ECM information management solution (MacMillan & Huff, 2009).

The burgeoning information requires effective records management regimes and close collaboration between records managers and archivists. The RCM offers archivists a chance to strategically participate in information and records management planning before the records are conceived. This also includes participating in the information systems procurement processes. Today’s information environment requires collaboration among different professions in an organization. The model is not as abstract as demonstrated in the arguments that the author has heard during her teaching activities at universities and in conversation with some of the archivists she has met. The e-Government development which has led to further opening up of government information (pluralization) is a good case to demonstrate the usefulness of the RCM thinking. Information has become a useful resource that we can no longer only preserve for posterity. Progressive governments are encouraging their institutions to set government information free so that it can be used innovatively by all interested stakeholders. For governments that have invested in information management infrastructures, the citizens with the right skills and technology will benefit from this development. However, in countries with underdeveloped information infrastructures, the continued use of the Life-Cycle Model by government institutions will lead to the loss of the information that is maintained in the information systems, if investments are not made in the development of electronic archives that will facilitate the innovative re-use of government information.

 
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