Iron Mountain and AIIM have published a study, What will it take to be a NextGen InfoPro?, which discusses the skills and knowledge that Records and Information Management (RIM) professionals need to manage information resources. A survey was conducted in May 2015 amongst 264 individual members of the AIIM community. Invitations to take the survey were sent via email to a selection of AIIM’s 80,000 registered individuals. 61% of the respondents are from North America and 21% from Europe, covering a representative spread of various industry sectors.The study concludes that over the next 3-5 years:
- The most sought-after capabilities for RIM professionals are accessibility (53%), including the use of mobile devices, data-quality management, data cleansing, and migration (49%), followed by information security and access control (42%).
- Content and records management will be the focus for 40% of organizations over the next several years: 39% of respondents cited business process management, and 31% see information and capture as their main focus.
- 52% of respondents want RIM professionals who can translate business requirements into the more tactical side of implementation: 46% see compliance skills as having the greatest impact on content management projects; and 45% want RIM professionals to assign value to information and data.
- 32% of respondents cited taxonomy and metadata design as the greatest technical skill set for their organizations, followed by information security and process analysis (30% each), and 29% application and process integration.
- The demand for technical knowledge centres on information security systems and procedures for 68% of respondents, but they said technology alone is not enough when it comes to protecting corporate information assets. 60% cite enterprise content management, document management, and records management systems knowledge as critical, while 53% want mobile device usage skills.
- Organizational expectations are broad and include soft skills like innovative thinking (70%); in addition, change management (70%) and relationship management that include internal and external parties are now part of a skill set expected of information professionals.
The study recommends the following:
As the NextGen InfoPro, you must learn about and formulate your views on various information management and governance topics like data analytics and how your organization must balance risk-related requirements with the broader usage of data for competitive advantage. You should develop a set of options addressing why or why not to keep all information, and how to identify and dispose of information considered to be ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial). Find ways to automate as many information management tasks as possible, leveraging business unit workflows and technology. As a NextGen InfoPro consider taking the following steps:
- Assess your internal expertise and identify and fill the gaps.
- Seek out SMEs in your industry, professional associations, and vendor communities to serve as a mentor and resource.
- Identify new or emerging technologies and assess how they will enhance your operations.
- Assess the needs and requirements to fully support the mobile workforce. n Campaign for a change in job title away from “Records Manager” to “Information Manager”, “Knowledge Manager” or “Director of Information Governance and Exploitation.”
- Engage with your organization and demonstrate the value you provide.
- And lastly, position yourself to take a primary role in forming your organization’s information management strategy.