Conclusion

ECM like records management endeavors to help organizations to manage their information assets. The biggest difference between the two strategies is that while ECM focuses on content, records management focuses on records. Records management ensures that the records’ evidential value, reliability, and authenticity are maintained. By focusing on content, ECM ensures that the information that falls outside the managed records is also brought into a managed environment and leveraged in a manner that supports business activities. In the case studies, it was evident that the focus was on current records captured in records management systems, but information in general information systems was neglected. The efforts that the municipalities were investing in information management were fragmentary and hence did not promote an enterprise-wide information management approach. The municipalities had records management functions and/or information management strategies. The research findings confirmed that the municipalities were also working with certain aspects of ECM. The maturity level of the ECM prescribed factors was however still low, and there were varying degrees of engagement in each of the municipalities. Both municipalities were engaged in business process analysis even though in Municipality B this was still a very premature engagement. They had also started discussing ways of collaborating around information in order to develop a culture of sharing it. They further discussed information reuse even though it was not done systematically. The municipalities still have much progress to make before they can be said to be reusing information in any meaningful way. This is due in part to the fact that reuse of information also requires an IT infrastructure that enables systems to at least interface with each other. As such, the municipalities had realized the need to address issues of system integration.

Despite these differences, the study showed that there were areas of overlap, or commonality, between ECM and the information management strategies of the municipalities. The overlap included: business process management; collaboration; change management; repurposing of information; knowledge management; system integration; and the life-cycle management of information. This overlap demonstrated the relevancy of the ECM factors and could within the municipalities information management framework lead to more awareness regarding what ought to be done, in order to achieve effective information management regimes. The Swedish municipalities still had to address the silo organizational structures, lack of top management support during the execution of projects, system integration, knowledge management, long-term preservation strategies, and resistance to change. Even though the municipalities had started engaging in the analysis of their business processes and were aware of the need for system integration, lack of enterprise architecture made the integration of information systems difficult.

ECM and records management differed primarily in five ways:

  • • ECM is an emerging field that requires further investigation, while records management is an established practice that continues to develop in order to devise tools to fit the current digital information management environment.
  • • ECM focuses on content that is all unstructured information in an organization, while records management focuses on records.
  • • ECM is driven by business efficiency while records management is in addition driven by legislation and broad societal needs. It promotes government efficiency, transparency, and accountability for democratic developments and enhances the societal memory.
  • • ECM is pursued by information systems scientists and the IT industry while records management has occupied records managers/archivists and the IT industry.
  • • ECM is technology-oriented while records management is both technology-oriented and analogue.

The study confirmed that there were also similarities as demonstrated in Table 5.2. These similarities, which covered areas of improvements pursued by the two municipalities, included:

  • • change management efforts conducted during the introduction of new systems;
  • • business process management undertaken to improve service delivery to the citizens;
  • • collaboration around information issues, which is still underdeveloped but is being discussed;
  • • system integration: an issue caused by lack of consultation and respect of information systems, procurement procedures; and
  • • both ECM and RM constitute the people, processes, and technology.
 
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