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Thinking inside the box

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Document management in the age of email

Depending on who you listen to, email is infecting the entire records management ecosystem or simply an inevitable consequence of the modern workplace. From discovery to storage to info governance, email poses challenges to even the strongest records management policies–which is unfortunate since it’s widespread use isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

connected workforce
Pew Internet released the results of a new survey this week revealing 61 percent of working Internet users say email is “very important” to their jobs. “In this sample, email and the Internet are particularly important to adults who work in traditionally ‘white collar,’ office-based occupations such as professionals, executives, managers, business owners, and clerical workers. They are also critical for the 59% of employed online adults who take their jobs outside of the physical boundaries of the workplace at least occasionally,” say Pew researchers.

All this may give the impression that records managers are eager to move away from email as a workflow component despite how dependent workers are on their inboxes. John Mancini, President of AIIM, says email is actually poised to stage a welcome comeback in 2015 thanks, in part, to vendors that are ready to step in and help problem solve.

Mancini says the commitment to email “centers around the major platform war that is underway as the major vendors drive to the cloud, particularly the war between Microsoft and Google.  All the platform vendors are betting their future on the cloud. At this point in the evolution of the cloud, the vendors are way ahead of the user community. This is especially true at organizations that operate at massive scale, many of which are still trying to digest systems and technologies they started implementing as long as five years ago. Just ask any group of IT executives from Fortune 2000 companies what primary version of SharePoint they are currently running, and you’ll get a sense of this time lag.”

Workers clearly have no intention of parting with email anytime soon. However, as long as vendors continue to help organisations manage the challenges email workflows bring to the table, they won’t have to.

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