To my mind there was a noticable, and welcome, sign of changing attitudes towards EDRMS (Electronic Document & Records Management Systems) at this years RMS Annual Conference in Brighton last week.
Previous years have seen a virtual total dominance of the conference agenda by EDRMS, either through vendors demonstrating them, consultants advising on implementing them, or practitioners explaining what they have done/would like to do with them. Even when a session was not about EDRM the implicit assumption throughout would always be that this was still the only goal in town.
Okay so this year's programme still saw more than its fair share of EDRM-focused sessions, particularly on day 2, but to my mind there was more than a whiff of the rear guard action about some of what was said. Having heard an excellent presentation on day 1 from Euan Semple about the challenges posed by Web 2.0 and social software presenters seemed to be working hard to try to demonstrate how developing an EDRM is still the answer to such changing and challenging times.
This was echoed by the flavour of many of the conversations I either had or overheard between sessions. More than one delegate expressed the view that they no longer believed EDRM was the answer (something rarely if ever heard even as recently as last year). The trouble appears to be that whilst people may have fallen out of love with the idea of EDRM they do not know what other options to pursue.
Why this is and where this might leave us is a theme to return to another day...