Impact of the Cloud and Social Platforms on Records Management

Impact of the Cloud and Social Platforms on Records Management

Abiola Bukola Elaturoti
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6618-3.ch019
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Cloud and social platforms have profound consequences for records management, in several ways. The chapter looks at and brings out the impact/effect of the cloud and social platforms on records management. Cloud computing embodies a deep change, a modification in how organizations store and manage information, the complete implications of which are not yet recognized. In the short term, it is suspected the cloud will make it cheaper to identify these implications and more scalable (and in many cases, more secure and stable). Additionally, it is undeniable that social media has become a pillar of modern-day society. Organizations and government bodies, therefore, are witnessing a surge in the volume of content of valuable information which they now have to manage and engage with over social media platforms unlike the management of physical documents through electronic records management regulations and tools. In the long run, however, there is no total idea about what things like changing from one provider to another or pulling content back on premises, or of doing e-discovery will do to records management. How would things be done with the application or adoption of the two platforms? What would they cost?
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About Records Management

Why keep records? Every organization needs records. Organizations use records in the conduct of current business to permit decisions to be made and decisions taken. Records may be required for business purposes whenever there is a need to recall or prove what was done or decided in the past; they (that is, records) provide access to precedents or previous work and thus save time and money by eliminating the need to create resources afresh (Yeo and Shepherd, 2003). Records are also kept to guard against fraud and to enable organizations protect their rights and assets under the law. To persist in the market place, businesses need to have structures in place to manage information vital to their work. To help a business run efficiently, these structures must be designed to allow the precise storage and rapid retrieval of information. Everything from invoices to letters, legal documents must be stored in a logical, efficient manner.

Records are valued assets of organizations. Good records management not only helps protect records but also boosts organizations’ operational effectiveness. An organization receives and processes great amount of information every passing day, but not all of them are records. A record is customarily linked to an organization’s endorsed business and preserved as proof. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) defines records as “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business” (ISO, in JISC 2012). Also, the International Council on Archives (ICA) Committee on Electronic Records defines a record as “recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity and that comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity” (ICA, 2005).

The International Council on Archives went on to specify three (3) key properties essential to all records that is which they must possess:

  • content (information or data);

  • context (it must be possible to ascertain how it relates to other records and to the organisation which created it);

  • structure (there must be an inherent logic to the way in which the information it contains – and the metadata which is likely to define its context – are laid out and which is ultimately interpretable by the human eye).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cloud Computing: The provision of diverse services over the internet.

Social media: The pool of tools and online spaces open to help individuals and businesses to accelerate their information and communication needs.

Record Manager: Professional who manages information received and produced by a wide range of public and private sector organizations.

Records Storage: Protecting private and close data within records and other files in a space (physical or virtual) that is safe and trustworthy without forfeiting accessibility.

Cloud-Based Services: This encompass the countless information technology (IT) resources delivered over the internet.

Cloud: A global network of servers; each with a unique function.

Records Management: The proficient and methodical control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, plus processes for collecting and maintaining proof of and data about business activities and transactions in the form of records.

Record: All information produced, referred, and received in the progress of a job, business transactions or legal issues and held by organizations or individuals.

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