Is SharePoint alone, enough?

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Organizations are facing the reality that electronic information is or can be a record and as such are now trying to address how they will manage this mounting mass. AIIM research and in discussions I have had with students in my classes, we find that many organizations are turning to SharePoint in search of a solution. While the technology is good, and may be suited to address some of an organization’s Electronic Records Management (ERM) requirements, the technology alone is not enough to ensure compliance.

When considering SharePoint or any technology to address an area like ERM, focus must also be given to those elements that support overall compliance, placing technology as a tool along with governance, well designed and documented processes, people and continuous improvement efforts to monitor and adjust your environment as needed. Technology alone is not the complete answer so neither should SharePoint be considered the complete answer. Questions you must ask are:

Do you have an established taxonomic structure?

What is your metadata strategy?

Is your security aligned properly with your information architecture for managing both physical and electronic information?

When did you last asses your recovery plan and have you identified and addressed vital records recovery?

  Are your retention policies in line with regulatory guidelines at all levels? (Multi-national companies will have varying requirements?)

In my view, all of these are critical to the establishment and success of an ERM environment. All of these elements must be carefully orchestrated to deliver the greatest benefit and support highest levels of compliance possible. SharePoint is a good technology and can work well as part of your overall ERM toolkit but is it really enough, alone? If you are not sure where to begin, seek professional guidance or training and take the appropriate steps now, to ensure your future.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Email: Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor - AIIM

Email:    Twitter – BobLarrivee


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Douglas Schultz

You are right on Bob, but I would add that you could replace SharePoint in the title with any of the other ECM vendors names. Technology is a small part of a comprehensive program to better manage the information assets of an organization. Too often, technology is chosen without regard to other governance decisions. Without the other pieces, an organization ends up with a repeat of their digital landfill previously in shared drives is just in a different, new silo.
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This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International