When, like me, you often find yourself having to explain the core concepts of information and records management to people, especially those who arenâ€™t IRM professionals, you know how quickly they can lose interest – approximately 0.00001 seconds after you first use the word metadata. Itâ€™s a pretty dry subject which can get technically complex very quickly; not an easy sell.
Information, and in that Iâ€™m including official records, data, social media and anything else you can think of, is generally understood to be a vital asset to business. We spend our days creating and using little objects of digital content (occasionally we still use paper) yet information and records managers often seem at a loss as to why no-one understands what managing it all is about. A hint here, if youâ€™re leaving everything in your email inbox you’re probably getting it very, very wrong.
If the content you need isnâ€™t there or isnâ€™t in a form you can use then everything stops. What information and records managers do is prevent that from happening; hopefully working in close collaboration with their IT, security, and information assurance colleagues amongst others. But that doesnâ€™t begin to describe the breadth of functions and activities information management professionals undertake to keep the information flow flowing.