The latest edition of the Records Management Society Bulletin publication includes a lead article by Frank McKenna, CEO of Knowledgeone Corporation entitled ‘Technology as a tool: where is records and document management heading?'.
This is without doubt a far reaching piece which covers a wide spread of the technical developments likely to influence records management in the near future. These range from improved WiFi Services and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to wearable and even implanted computers. The amazing thing about this piece is that despite this radical depiction of a world transformed by technology the only unquestioned constant for the author appears to be the presence and continued central importance of an EDRMS (Electronic Document & Records Management System).
For each and every new technology mentioned McKenna discusses its likely impact not in terms of how it may fundamentally change user behaviour or the way our organisations' function (and therefore create records) but in what it may or may not mean for the development of the EDRMS. The following couple of quotes probably encapsulate this as well as anything – though there are plenty of others that could have been chosen:
“Better programming tools and techniques (.NET, SOA, PHP, AHA, Ajax, etc): Most of these make it easier and faster for IT people to roll out and support EDRMS solutions”
Or better still:
"As far as EDRMS solutions go I don’t really see records and information managers rushing out to get (micro) ‘chipped’, at least not within the next 10 years. After that who knows…”
Its almost as if EDRMS have become a kind of professional oxygen for us – our imaginations can foresee and invent all manner of wild, exciting and improbable futures which might await us, but apparently the one unquestioned and unchallenged constant within each of these brave new worlds, just like the air we must always breathe, is the EDRMS.
Contrast this rather disjointed vision of the future with Jesse Wilkins excellent blogging from the recent Office2.0 conference in San Francisco. No prior assumptions, no sacred cows – just matter-of-fact observations about the fundamental changes that are occurring in technology as we speak and what they may mean for information and records management.