Differences and similarities between enterprise content management and records management


This chapter presents the differences and similarities between enterprise content management (ECM) and records management (RM). As organizations struggle to deal with their digital information resources, it has become crucial to understand the implications of the solutions they deploy. Organizations have a tendency of investing in information management technologies, which are trendy other than beginning by asking the right questions about their information environment. Dorsey (2005) argued that 50—80% of information systems projects fail and he attributed this failure to the human tendency to hide the bad news as he put it. This is also confirmed by Qassim (n.d.) who put the failure rate at 70—80%. Organizations often hire consultants and purchase software instead of beginning with identifying their information needs. The author led a consultancy that evaluated two studies that had been written by two IT companies, and that wanted to sell an ECM solution to a local administration in Belgium. Though the solutions that were being proposed were sound, this local administration was not ready to embark on an ECM implementation project. This was because there were so many challenges on the ground that needed to be addressed before new information management systems could be implemented. Luckily enough the municipality took the evaluation seriously and it waited with the implementation process which could have been catastrophic.

Dorsey (2005) suggested that the only way we can make information management system projects to work is by using our heads to ask the right questions. He contended that successful information system projects require top management support, a sound methodology, and solid technical leadership with experience from past projects. Mancini (n.d.) presented eight factors for a successful content and records management implementation project and these include the following:

  • • building a business strategy and blueprint by identifying the critical success factors for the project, how these factors will be measured, and what the drivers will be;
  • • conducting a technology assessment and creating a blueprint;
  • • thinking through a governance structure and approach—formal and documented rules governing information;
  • • creating a roadmap and project plan;

Enterprise Content Management, Records Management and Information Culture Amidst e-Government Development. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100874-4.00005-3

Copyright © 2017 Proscovia Svard. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • • designing the plan to include design of user support and operational procedures, security design, and design of infrastructure management processes;
  • • deploying the plan and cycle through phases of assessment and improvement; and
  • • undertaking change management. Failure in the implementation of ECM and records management projects is not because of the technology but lack of change management.
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