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Subject: Re: Life Span of Electronic media & Horror stories
From: firelock <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 26 Jul 2001 04:10:25 -0400
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> Subject: Re: Life Span of Electronic media

REMEMBER THAT THE PRIMARY GOAL OF INFORMATION MANAGERS IS TO GET RID OF
OUTDATED RECORDS NOT VIEW THEM AS A HISTORICAL ARTIFACT.

This one statement seems to be the conflict that occurs in this area. Many
business managers feel that 7-15 years is long enough for most records and
anything that facilitates their going away is not a bad thing.

As records manager confuse their role with that of a historical archivist
your value to your organization goes down. You are not helping to reduce
costs. That is why aggressive retention scheduling is valued.

Some records have value and you set longer schedules and develop migration
strategies. The only true danger I see in the marketplace is that media is
being stored in environments guaranteed to accelerate rather than slow the
deterioration process. I am always surprised at the number of managers who
value the environmental capabilities of a fireproof vault equally to its
fire protection. Their answer is "I don't really believe we will ever have a
fire, but legal requires vital records and media in a vault. But I sure know
that the records will deteriorate in our present environment, and that is a
real threat!" Their goal is to double or triple the life of media (digital
and microfilm) and proper environmental conditions do that.

Keeping everything will make your organization non-competitive as this is
costly and soon the lean mean competitor puts you out of business.

If everyone on this Listserv went to work today and spent the entire day
purging records and showed the financial results to their manager, an
impression would be made of efficiency.

>Horror Stories

Many horror stories were submitted but while they were horrible for you,
where was the downside for management. SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Who was able to take a horror story and make management take positive steps
to improve the program or more importantly to this List, tell us you
received a promotion or a raise based on proactive steps taken?

I can tell you management thinks it is this simple:

Output all internal documents to digital media. Store offsite or in a vault.
Or both, which is becoming more popular based on our sales.
Microfilm everything coming in, if it is necessary to a file, scan it into
the system so it is now part of the knowledge base.
Migrate the stuff you want to keep onto new media.
Repeat

Unless you can find the lawsuit that can't be defended with this program,
you have nothing of value to add to the program. The manager is now getting
an extra week of vacation and a pay raise because he reduced storage and
management costs by $XXXXXXXX per year.

Management plans in generalities and pointing out that one document, in a
warehouse full of records, might be needed 15 years from now does not deter
them from broad scope programs.

A line from "As Good As It Gets" with Jack Nicholson goes something like
this "There are lots of lovely stories with people and parks and picnics and
noodle salad and everyone is happy. But none of them are in this car."

So show me the happy ending at the end of the horror story.

--
Please note our new  email address [log in to unmask]

Hugh Smith
FIRELOCK MODULAR FIREPROOF VAULTS
KUTZTOWN, PA 19530
[log in to unmask]
610 756-4440
See our Web Site at WWW.FIRELOCK.COM

>
> Subject: Re: Life Span of Electronic media

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